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

 


The TPPA’s Dirty Little Secret: How US could write NZ’s Laws

Press release

Strictly embargoed until 05.00 13 August 2014

( the website does not come live until the embargo is lifted)

The TPPA’s Dirty Little Secret: How the US could write NZ’s laws

A new website launched today (http://tppnocertification.org/) has exposed what University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey calls ‘the dirty little secret of the TPPA’.

‘Behind the seemingly benign term “certification” hides an extraordinary power that the US is expected to assert if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is concluded’.

‘Effectively, the US claims the right to decide what a country’s obligations are under a trade and investment agreement and refuses to bring the agreement into force in relation to that country until it has changed its laws, regulations and administrative processes to fit the US interpretation’, Professor Kelsey explained.

Statements from members of US Congress and the US Trade Representative (USTR) suggest prime targets for New Zealand would be our copyright and patent laws, the foreign investment vetting regime, the procedures by which Pharmac operates, and Fonterra’s ‘anti-competitive monopoly’.

‘The other eleven governments are aware of the certification process and many are concerned. But no one has told the public how the US can effectively redraft our laws.’

Professor Kelsey has co-authored a memorandum that draws on the experience of countries that have been subjected to the US certification process in recent years.

It reveals how US officials have been directly involved in drafting other countries’ relevant laws and regulations to ensure they satisfy US demands. This includes reviewing, amending and approving proposed laws before they are presented to the other country’s legislature. The USTR even demanded that Guatemala implement new pharmaceutical laws that were not in the formal text, and which the government had strenuously resisted during the negotiations.

Communications within the Office of the USTR on the Peru US Free Trade Agreement were secured under the US Freedom of Information Act and show how brutal the US can be: ‘We [USTR] have to redraft the regs and the law – Peru needs to accept them without changes’.

Similar communications might never be released under New Zealand’s Official Information Act, because they involveinformation entrusted to the government in confidence from another government.

‘In other words New Zealanders, including MPs, might never know that the US was involved in writing our laws and demanding the right to sign them off even before Parliament gets to see them’, Professor Kelsey warned.

‘Everyone knows the US is driving the TPPA. But agreeing to a final text, in the knowledge that the US will then play the certification card, would mean conceding the right of US officials to oversee the making of New Zealand’s laws and regulations.’


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news