It’s Our Future NZ – TPPA Bulletin #51
18 June 2014
PM meets Obama
Our wheeler-dealer PM is meeting Obama in Washington on Friday. Given the US is not moving and Groser is busy talking down expectations (see below), the only deal the PM can make with Obama is economic surrender. Australia’s PM played down TPPA when he met Obama last week. Tragically, Key may be grateful for the diversion of Iraq.
TPPA Twitter storm
To mark the occasion of Key and Obama meeting, we are calling for a TPPA Twitter Storm to remind John that NZers want to make sure their voices are heard. This will take place on Friday 20 June 2014 between 4 and 5pm.
Check here for details, including sample tweets and alternative time zones.
Groser prepares for sellout
Trade minister Tim Groser is preparing the ground for a deal that falls way short of what he said was NZ’s bottom line. The media are reflecting this skepticism, probably as he wants. But will he walk away? Not unless it becomes politically unsaleable. A sample of recent media:
TVNZ’s Q&A: Q. Will NZ walk away if it doesn’t get zero tariffs on dairy?
A. We will make a considered and professional judgement at the end of the day … about what is in the net national interest. … And it is absolutely certain it will be the next Parliament after the election that will have to take the decision. Ultimately NZers will have their say through their elected representatives.
So Groser repeats the Bull**** that (a) Parliament makes the decision and (b) this the most extensive stakeholder consultation he has ever seen in any trade talks. Watch Helen Kelly demolish Groser on the panel discussion afterwards.
Patrick Smellie in BusinessDay: “TPP to live on in other acronyms even if it fails: Groser”: "Though TPP may yet still stumble if governments finally lack the courage to take the final decisive decisions to confront their highly protected sectors, there is every reason to believe TPP will be the decisive influence in creating the entire FTAAP…. If TPP falters, RCEP, either in its current full form or some ‘slimmed down’ version is likely to take leadership of the process of Asia Pacific integration.”
Tracy Watkins in DomPost, “Free trade deal dreams proving elusive”: Five years on, the TPP is proving just as elusive [as the WTO Doha round], despite the original dream of keeping negotiations focused and tight between a handful of like-minded countries.
What’s the current timeline?
There is another round of officials’ talks in Vancouver. Secret squirrels at work again. But nothing big with ministers is on the horizon. Australia’s trade minister is now talking of a deal in 2015!
Copyright change in Australia Korea FTA, similar for TPPA?
The text of the recent Australia Korea FTA has been released. It requires parties to ‘provide measures to curtail repeated copyright and related right infringement on the Internet’; this is different from the Australia US FTA requirement to provide ‘incentives for service providers to cooperate with copyright owners in deterring unauthorised storage/transmission of copyrighted materials’. Implementing this will require legislation to nullify a High Court decision in favour of the ISP provider iiNet. Friends in Australia speculate there are similar provisions in TPPA.
Murray Horton on TPPA & Sovereignty
Fresh from his national speaking tour, Murray Horton has written Battle Against TPPA Is Battle For National Sovereignty in the latest Foreign Control Watchdog.
Manufacturing & Construction Workers Union against TPPA
The annual conference of the Manufacturing & Construction Workers Union held in May 2014 carried the following policy: “THAT the union opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement being negotiated in secret and calls for all free trade agreements to be subject to approval of a national referendum before being entered into.”