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


Senate Vote Dooms Fast Track and Potentially the TPPA

13 May 2015

US Senate Vote Dooms Fast Track for Now, and Potentially the TPPA

‘The future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is now in doubt, following President Obama’s failure to secure Senate support to advance Fast Track authority to a full debate and vote in Congress’, according to Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey, who monitors the negotiations.

Fast Track, or Trade Promotion Authority, would require Congress to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the TPPA and similar deals, and not pick them apart.

A long-delayed Bill was introduced to both houses of Congress last month, but action has been stalled because Obama did not have the votes.

‘Time was running out with TPPA ministers due to meet in Guam from 26 to 28 May where they hoped to close the deal’, Professor Kelsey said.

A number of countries, notably Japan, have said they will not make any final commitments unless the US President has Fast Track authority.

Obama needed 60 votes in the Senate to progress the Bill to its next stage, but could only secure 52. His own party deserted him, including senior Democrats.

The deal-breakers included a demand that ‘disciplines on currency control’ are included in the TPPA – something that Japan and Malaysia could never agree to.

There is even less support for Fast Track in the House of Representatives, which suggests the measure is doomed for now.

In the past week, President Obama has alienated fellow Democrats by an ill-advised attack on highly respected Senator and TPPA critic Elizabeth Warren and his choice of a Nike factory to deliver a cheerleading speech about the benefits to the US of Fast Track and TPPA.

Obama now faces a real rebellion in the ranks, and will have to assess the political risks of continuing to pursue both the Bill and the TPPA as the US moves closer towards a presidential election.

Professor Kelsey suggested the meeting of Ministers from the twelve countries, scheduled for Guam from 26 to 28 May, must now be in doubt.

‘A formal meeting of ministers will make their failure to cement a deal all too visible. At the same time, they will need to make a collective decision on what to do next. The TPPA ministers should treat this as a signal that there is no support for this controversial deal, even in the country that stands to benefit most’, Professor Kelsey said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


'Public Safety': Next Firearms Reform Plan Announced

The next Arms Amendment Bill will:

• Establish a register of firearms and licence holders to be rolled out over 5 years
• Tighten the rules to get and keep a firearms licence
• Tighten the rules for gun dealers to get and keep a licence
• Require licences to be renewed every five years
• Introduce a new system of warning flags so Police can intervene and seek improvement if they have concerns about a licence holder’s behaviour
• Prohibit visitors to New Zealand from buying a gun... More>>


Ihumātao Development: Protesters Served Eviction Notices

Ihumātao is next to the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve in Māngere, home to New Zealand's earliest market gardens and a significant archaeological site on land considered wāhi tapu (sacred) by local hapū and iwi. More>>

Separation: Law Commission Recommends New Law For Dividing Property

The Law Commission recommends a range of changes to make the law fairer for partners dividing property on separation. More>>


'ClimbIt Crisis: Greenpeace Climbers Seek OMV Majestic Centre HQ

The two Greenpeace climbers who are scaling the outside of the tallest building in Wellington have unfurled the first of a series of banners. More>>


Suspect Was Also Kicked: Shots Fired To Warn Fleeing Driver Not Justified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer's decision to fire three warning shots to stop a fleeing driver from reversing towards him was not justified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Being Australia's Pacific Go-Fers

Inevitably, there was an aspect of ‘what might have been’ about the weekend’s meeting in Canberra between PM Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison... More>>


RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>


Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>





InfoPages News Channels