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

 

Labour’s TPPA-11 spin omits inconvenient details

Labour’s TPPA-11 spin omits inconvenient details

‘Having agreed to the National government’s original Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, with some aspects suspended pending a possible US re-entry, the new government has begun to spin its achievements, while omitting some inconvenient details’, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.

‘Some of what the Prime Minister referred to as potential protections, such as a three-year review that would hypothetically allow removal of the investor-state dispute mechanism (ISDS) and protection of investor screening under the Overseas Investment Office from ISDS, were not in the Annex of agreed suspensions released by the trade ministers in Vietnam.’

‘If there is more, we need to see it so we can evaluate the government’s claims. I am inherently suspicious given the spin that trade minister David Parker has put on other provisions’, she said.

‘For example, the minister claims that investors with government contracts cannot now use the ISDS provision to enforce those contracts. He needs to acknowledge they can still bring a dispute relating to those contracts where they allege a breach of the investment chapter’s rules. That is where the real power lies’.

Professor Kelsey points out that the protections for labour and environment the minister cited are extremely weak. The standard general exception provision is full of caveats and has only succeeded fully in the WTO twice in 46 disputes.

More importantly, the US refused to allow that exception to apply to the investment chapter in TPPA. That has not changed. Instead there is a contingent protection for the expropriation rule (Annex 9-B), which will depend on how private investment arbitrators interpret it in a dispute, but that does not apply to the main rule investors rely on in ISDS disputes (Art 9.6). Another, circular provision allows governments to adopt health, environment other regulatory measures provided they are consistent with the agreement! (Art 9.16)

Professor Kelsey also points out that the side agreement with Australia not to use ISDS was in the original agreement. ‘The fact that most investment comes from Australia does not protect us from investment disputes. Corporations are notorious for incorporating in locations where they can take advantage of ISDS provisions. The more countries we are exposed to through the TPPA-11, the greater the prospect of a dispute.’

‘Whether the minister has been misled on their effects or is taking short cuts with the real legal position, the effect is to misrepresent the potential impacts of the re-branded agreement. We expect more of this government’.

‘We need full disclosure, including of New Zealand’s requests for changes to the original deal, immediately. The government also needs to take advantage of the hiatus in the negotiations to hold an open-minded consultation process. That’s what the Trudeau government did when it was faced with the original TPPA-deal, and it appears to have listened to its people’s concerns. We deserve the same.’

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Jami-Lee Ross Saga

In the end, the Jami-Lee Ross tweet about secretly taping his leader and promising to use it – assuming that such a tape exists, and wasn’t just being conjured out of thin air as a random threat – is a more serious offence than the original leak.

After all, even the PWC report hadn’t finally and definitively pointed the finger of blame at Ross, but had cited him merely as the most likely suspect. More>>

Press Conference Video: Jami-Lee Ross Plans By-Election, Police Complaint
National MP Jami-Lee Ross is to resign his seat and step down from the National Party, and will stand as an independent in any by-election for his Botany seat... Speaking to media at Parliament, he alleged Mr Bridges had broken electoral donation law and said he would put in an official police complaint. More>>
ALSO:

 

Fate Of Tahr Sealed: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>

ALSO:

Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Fuel And Leaks

Other topics included the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, the relation between the Government moves against high fuel prices and the commitment to act on climate change, NZTA's failures in compliance checks ... More>>

ALSO:

New Hager Investigation: War Crimes, Sexual Assaults And Coverups In Armed Forces

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017... More>>

ALSO:

Israel's Anti-Boycott Law: NZ Activists Fined Over Lorde Cancellation Raise $12k For Charity

New Zealand activists being fined in Israel for urging pop singer Lorde to cancel her concert have raised more than $12,000 for a Palestinian charity. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI: Teacher Shortage Plan Falls Short

NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the Government's announcement of new initiatives to address the growing teacher shortage, but says teaching must become a sustainable career choice if there is to be a long-term solution… More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels