Press Release – New Zealand Fabian Society
Over several years the Fabian Society has brought you a range of speakers examining the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and its implications for NZ . Without exception they raised serious concerns that have yet to be openly addressed by TPPA advocates.
National Day of Action Against the TPPA
Over several years the Fabian Society has brought you a range of speakers examining the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and its implications for NZ. Without exception they raised serious concerns that have yet to be openly addressed by TPPA advocates.
Jane Kelsey has asked us to circulate information about the National Day of Action this Saturday November 14th. More than any of the previous events, she emphasises the need to get numbers on the street for this. Details are as follows:
Nelson – 11am at 1903 Square – near the church steps
The information below is from TPPA Bulletin #78:
TPPA Text Finally Released
On 5 November the Government finally released the TPPA text. This came a month after the negotiations were concluded, giving the government a month-long period to spin their story in the media while campaigners still had little to work with. Professor Jane Kelsey said that the released text reveals ‘major holes in the government’s “fact sheets”‘, while It’s Our Future’s spokesperson Barry Coates said it was a “shameful reminder of the secrecy, spin and corporate deal-making that has characterised this shabby deal.” Right now a team of experts from a wide range of fields are working to provide concise analyses of the most important parts of the text. Once these are available, It’s Our Future will be converting these into short, easy-to-read documents.
Labour Party Conference
The TPPA is still a hot issue in the Labour Party, with many grassroots Labour activists and unions pushing the party to take a stronger stance. Andrew Little’s keynote speech didn’t mince words on the issue: I’m telling you, when it comes to undermining our democracy and our sovereignty in the TPPA, I am totally opposed and I will fight with every fibre in my body to stop it, to resist it, to make sure it never happens in New Zealand. This blog from Professor Jane Kelsey explains how the TPPA crosses all five of Labour’s Bottom Lines, not just the question of foreign ownership of housing.
Failed Safeguards in Investment Chapter
International arbitrator George Kahale (chairman of Curtis, Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosie LLP, an international law firm), whose core business is defending states being sued under ISDS, has an article in the Guardian in which he points out the critical loopholes in TPPA’s much-maligned investment chapter. He points out that the ‘safeguards’ provision (Article 9.15), that refers to a carve-out for “matters sensitive to environmental health, or other regulatory objectives” is effectively negated by the words “unless otherwise consistent with this chapter”. Kahale sees much of the chapter’s drafting as an improvement on previous agreements, however all of that narrow drafting is undermined by the chapter’s ‘most favoured nation’ (MFN) clause (note, the article is written from an Australian perspective): Essentially, an MFN clause is tantamount to a classic wipeout move. It would enable foreign corporations from TPP states to make a claim against Australia based on the ISDS provisions in any other trade deal Australia has signed, no matter which country it was signed with. That means it does not matter how carefully the TPP is drafted: foreign investors can cherrypick another treaty Australia has signed, and sue the Australian government based on the provisions included in that treaty. Kahale has described MFN as “a dangerous provision to be avoided by treaty drafters whenever possible” because it can turn one bad treaty into protections “never imagined for virtually an entire world of investors”. Including an MFN clause in the TPP was a “major mistake”, Kahale argues, and another reason Australia is still wide open to being sued for legislating to protect the environment.
Mary Dreaver Lecture – Louise Nicholas and Heather Henare will consider the question ‘Violence against Women – What will it take to eliminate it?’
The event will start at 3pm, Saturday November 14th and will be held at the Ellen Melville Pioneer Women Hall High Street and Freyberg Place, Auckland CBD.
Publications – Most of the presentations we have held are on the web site in one form or another – speeches, slides and/or recordings. Check out the ‘Publications’ section on our website and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get regular updates.