Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Can Obama Achieve Checkmate for TPPA by November?

13 July 2014

Can Obama Achieve Checkmate for TPPA by November?

‘The most opaque round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to date ended in Ottawa yesterday. The odds of President Obama achieving his goal of a meaningful document by the APEC leaders’ summit in November hangs in the balance’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey who has been in Ottawa to observe the talks.

The twelve countries have apparently begun brainstorming the November options.

‘At their most ambitious, the leaders could announce a political deal, but provide no text’, Professor Kelsey speculated. A similar ‘agreement in principle’ was announced for the Canada EU agreement known as CETA in October 2013. ‘There is still no final treaty, which makes it impossible to assess the real impacts.’

Everything hinges on a breakthrough in the US-Japan talks on agriculture, which resume in Washington on Monday. It is likely that bilateral discussions among the TPPA’s five main agriculture players will continue when their trade ministers convene for the G20 meeting in Sydney on 19 July.

‘While everyone is blaming Japan for holding out, the US is also insisting it will only make bilateral deals on agriculture, so it can limit what it offers to different countries, notably New Zealand on dairy’.

With no breakthrough on agriculture, the leaders could do little more than update their inflated ambitions from three years ago at APEC in Honolulu, Professor Kelsey observed.

‘Whether they downgrade those expectations to fit the reality that the US, Japan and Canada are not going to deliver comprehensive market access will largely depend on whether New Zealand is prepared to admit that publicly’, she said. ‘Australia has already accepted a TPPA-lite deal, and Canada would happily follow Japan’s lead.’

Even if the US and Japan strike a deal, it is unclear whether that would be announced before America’s November mid-term elections, or even shared with the other parties.

If they do not agree, or refuse to share the outcome, the rest of the talks may remain stalled. Professor Kelsey says that ‘New Zealand has apparently refused to make political trade-offs in other areas, such as intellectual property, without a result on dairy. That is Groser’s only real bargaining chip, but it is unclear how long he can maintain that position’.

Some of those issues remain far from resolved. The Ottawa round turned the heat up in areas seen to be lagging, notably the novel text on state-owned enterprises. Yet negotiators on other controversial issues, such as environment and the annex on ‘transparency in healthcare technology’ that targets Pharmac, have not met for several rounds – presumably because they lack a political mandate.

There is a report of further ‘informal’ rounds of negotiations in September and October, including a meeting of ministers. Even if these are confirmed, the details of when and where are likely to remain a state secret to shield them from even the current minimal level of scrutiny.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Two Years With New Methods: Crime Stats Show Increase Led By Burglary

The two years of data show an increase in the total victimisation rate of 3.1 per cent, with 12,060 more victimisations in the 2015/16 year when compared to 2014/15 year. From this increase, 72 per cent is attributable to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news