Category: Uncategorized

NO DEAL IN MAUI!

The post-Maui Ministerial Press Conference is just wrapping up, where Ministers yet again were unable to conclude a deal. The Press Conference was heavy on platitudes but light on detail of actual progress, with Ministers trailing out the oft-repeated mantras around the need to restrict transparency. We will bring you further media reports as they become available: TPPA: Trans Pacific Partnership talks fail in face of NZ, Canada dairy clash (NZ Farmer) Talks for Pacific Trade Deal Stall at a Critical Step (New York Times) Hawaii trade talks stall over dairy, pharmaceuticals and auto concerns (Washington Post) Pacific Rim free trade talks fail to end in deal (Reuters) ‘Trade Ministers fail to forge Trans-Pacific pact‘ (Thestar.com) Statement of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch: Yet Another ‘Final’ TPP Ministerial and Again No Deal; Not Surprising Given Growing Controversy Over TPP Threats Here and in Other Nations Today’s fourth “final” TPP ministerial without a deal means the clock has run on possible U.S. congressional votes in 2015. No deal means the TPP is thrown into the political maelstrom of the U.S. presidential cycle and with opposition building in many countries there are reduced chances that a deal will ever be reached on a pact that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman declared to be in its “end game” in 2013 but that has become ever more controversial since. It’s good news for people...

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Questions in the House this week on TPPA.

A busy time in the House this week with a lot of questions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. James Shaw asking John Key about the benefits to the ICT sector and the risks of investor-state dispute settlement and Andrew Little on Pharmac costs: Annette King asking Minister Jonathan Young about the increased health costs likely to result from the TPPA: Fletcher Tabuteau asking the Todd McClay (on behalf of the Minister of Trade Tim Groser) about questionable trade benefits and transparency: Doctor Russel Norman asking Todd McClay (on behalf of the Minister of Trade Tim Groser) on the lack of transparency in the negotiation: David Parker to Todd McClay (on behalf of the Minister of Trade Tim Groser) on issues of trust and the power to regulate foreign...

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Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”

Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including it’s impact on local markets and damage to national economies. It then goes on to describe the content of  the leaked documents and their focus on State Owned Enterprises. Accompanying the publication of the document on wikileaks is an analysis (in PDF form) by Professor Jane Kelsey. Kelsey has just last week released her book The Fire Economy: New Zealand’s Reckoning, primarily focused on the dangers of the current structure of New Zealands economic system.    ...

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Libertarians against ISDS!

An article by Daniel Pearson (senior fellow in trade policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute) appears in The Hill titled ‘Boost support for TPP by rethinking ISDS’, in which he suggests removing investor-state dispute settlement from the negotiation: True, cross-border investors would prefer that TPP include ISDS.  But most U.S. companies understand that the real benefits of TPP would come from reforms that reduce barriers to trade in goods and services, as well as making foreign investment possible by opening up previously closed sectors of the economy.  If there are no ISDS provisions in TPP, companies have other approaches to risk management:  adding arbitration clauses to contracts; purchasing political risk insurance; or simply investing somewhere safer.  It’s worth noting that there is no ISDS agreement between the United States and China, for instance, yet a large number of U.S. firms have invested there.  No ISDS provision was included in the U.S.-Australia FTA, yet its passage was strongly supported by the business community.  The same would be true for TPP even in the absence of ISDS. Could Obama cultivate additional votes for TPP among Democratic members of Congress by addressing ISDS concerns?  First he would have to persuade other TPP nations to adjust or eliminate ISDS fairly late in the negotiating process.  Since the United States has been the strongest proponent of including such a measure, the president may be...

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