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

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news