Month: January 2018

Trump says US might rejoin if the TPPA gives it more – will Labour& NZ First say ‘no’? – Jane Kelsey

Speaking to CBNC at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday, US President Trump reiterated his view that the original Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) was a “horrible deal”, but said “I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal”. University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey has called on the New Zealand government for a watertight commitment that it “would never negotiate US re-entry and hence re-activate the suspended items in the TPPA – let alone make further concessions to help Trump ‘Make American Great Again’, which could only come at New Zealand’s expense.” Trump’s latest position contradicts the adamant statement from USTR Robert Lighthizer last year that the US would never re-join the TPPA, following its withdrawal last January. Professor Kelsey points out that “US re-entry has always been the end game for the revival of the TPPA as the TPPA-11. That’s why they are suspending rather than removing some of the most toxic provisions that the US demanded in the original negotiations.” “Trump’s tantalising musings pose a quandary for the government. They will be desperate to re-engage the US. But Labour, and now Winston Peters, are spinning the TPPA-11 as a fundamentally different and nicer deal. Trump’s statement has exposed the reality that the TPPA-11 is a Trojan Horse for something even worse that the original agreement.” “Any riposte that the US would have to negotiate re-entry...

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Labour/NZF must explain how Canada secured changes to TPPA-11 when NZ said it couldn’t – Jane Kelsey

Overnight in Japan the remaining eleven governments have concluded the ‘revised’ but essentially unchanged Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA-11), now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership. The signing is set for 8 March 2018 in Chile. University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey predicts ‘the rebranding of the TPPA won’t fool anyone, especially Labour and New Zealand First supporters who backed those parties because they opposed the original deal. Labour is now actively promoting it and Winston Peters is conveniently and uncharacteristically silent’. ‘They will also ask, rightly, why the recently elected Canadian government Canada has achieved what the Labour-led New Zealand government said was impossible.’ Canada has reportedly secured new protections for culture, as well as rules of origin for automobiles, which was not on the list of outstanding items in the TPPA-11 ministerial statement in December last year. These additions appear to be through side letters, rather than changes to the actual text. Japanese officials have said the details won’t be released until after the revised agreement is signed. ‘Canada’s new government had the backbone to demand and secure what it describes as “real gains” through side letters’, Professor Kelsey said. ‘By contrast, New Zealand’s new government said it asked other countries to sign a side letter on investor-state enforcement and most wouldn’t play ball. It then shrugged its shoulders, took credit for a...

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