World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Are TPPA Ministers Bluffing Or Could They Pull It Off?

Are TPPA Ministers Bluffing Or Could They Pull It Off?

The statement from the ministers of the twelve countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) meeting in Sydney has just been released.

‘The ministers have repeated much of the same hype as previously about making “significant progress” and “setting the stage to bring the negotiations to finalisation”’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey who is in Sydney observing the ministerial meeting.

However, Inside US Trade reported yesterday that Japan has tabled new offers on agriculture, including to New Zealand.

‘There is speculation over whether Japan’s new market access offers might have been enough to unlock the other negotiations on rules like intellectual property, state-owned enterprises and environment,’ Professor Kelsey reported.

Negotiators are slated to continue meeting in Sydney after the ministerial to incorporate their instructions into the draft texts.

‘Japan’s offer to New Zealand is believed to fall well short of what Trade Minister Groser set as his bottom line. If he agrees on that basis to begin trade-offs in other sensitive areas, the deal will be as lopsided as we have predicted’.

For example, there are three options on the table in the highly sensitive area of transition periods for intellectual property affecting pharmaceuticals. Professor Kelsey observed that none of them would genuinely benefit New Zealand.

‘New Zealand is already above the proposed GNI per capita income level and the Human Development Index threshold that would allow the changes to be phased in.’

The Wikileaks text posted two weeks ago shows the third option of transition periods ranged from two years to unspecified terms. However, New Zealand was not referred to in the text.

‘The most we could realistically expect as a transition period is to be included in the two-year transition. That will make minimal difference to the overall impact. But it has potential benefits for the National government, as it would be able to push out higher costs for Pharmac beyond the next election.’

According to a proposed footnote in the recent leaked text, New Zealand might have a maximum of five years after the agreement came into force before it had to implement the additional obligations on biologic medicines under the TPPA.

‘Again, that delay would help get National off the hook, as Parliament would not have to pass the new intellectual property laws immediately to comply with the agreement’.

‘This is shaping up to be as lousy a deal for New Zealand as we predicted. If they really are close to making the political trade-offs, New Zealanders need to call the government to account now’.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Kazakhstan: Bachelet Urges Peaceful Resolution Of Grievances
Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>

Afghanistan: Economy In ‘Freefall’, Threatening To Take Entire Population With It

Afghanistan’s economy is in “free fall”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told a special meeting on Sunday, warning that if decisive and compassionate action is not taken immediately, it may “pull the entire population with it”... More>>