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


TPPA-11 Negotiations Headed for Constitutional Collision

31 August 2017

TPPA-11 Negotiations Headed for Constitutional Collision

Events in Sydney this week mean the New Zealand government is now facing a renegotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) text on the eve of an election.

‘It is simply unacceptable that a caretaker National party would continue to make decisions in secret on such a sensitive matter in the midst of an election campaign’ says Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey.

‘Other political parties must now be consulted in the lead up to the next round of negotiations in September. Bill English considered it appropriate to consult on a minor change in a deployment to Afghanistan, so a renegotiation of the TPPA text demands at least the same.’

Australian and Japanese media are reporting from negotiations just concluded in Sydney that all eleven countries remaining in the TPPA have agreed to suspend some parts of the agreement unless and until the US re-joins, and some are demanding that parts of the text are reopened, according to Professor Kelsey.

Canada and Mexico want a quick decision to suspend various TPPA provisions that the Trump administration will demand in its renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Other countries will insist on reopening parts of the text to withdraw concessions they agreed on tariffs in the expectation of access to the US market. Vietnam will want to drop the chapter on state-owned enterprises. Malaysia will undoubtedly seek to revisit the restrictions on government procurement.

The news reports say that the controversial monopoly period of marketing exclusivity for biologics medicines and patent term extensions for delays in processing applications are also among the provisions to be suspended.

This follows an open letter from the international health community, including the World Public Health Association and the New Zealand Medical Association, to trade and health ministers of the eleven countries earlier in the week. They called for a complete renegotiation of the agreement, but failing that for the suspension, at least, of provisions that would cause the most harm to people’s health.

‘A number of countries made it clear they weren’t prepared to give US pharmaceutical companies the benefits of TPPA for free. Sadly, the National government wasn’t among them. At least they eventually joined the consensus’, Professor Kelsey said.

However, the fate of other controversial provisions, especially relating to investment and the right of foreign companies to sue governments in offshore tribunals, has not been resolved.

Each country is meant to bring a list of changes it wants to the next meeting of the TPPA-11 chief negotiators in Japan later in September to finalise proposals for their ministers when they meet in in Vietnam in November.

‘National cannot do this in the midst of the election in secret. It must include the public and the other political parties in preparing New Zealand’s list of requests for changes to this deeply unpopular agreement’, Professor Kelsey said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

At one level, this has been the week that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln – which once led a civil war that ended the slave economy of the South – has now defined itself openly as being the party of white nationalism.

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. 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>>


Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>


$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region. More>>


The Kids: Youth Parliament 2019 Event Kicks Off

120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members have gathered in Wellington to attend the two-day Youth Parliament event ... More>>


Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>





InfoPages News Channels