Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey

The formal National Interest Analysis (NIA) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) released by Trade Minister Todd McClay today is simply an expanded version of the so-called fact sheets prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and …26 January 2016

For immediate release

TPPA ‘National Interest Analysis’ more a ‘National Government Interest Analysis’

The formal National Interest Analysis (NIA) on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) released by Trade Minister Todd McClay today is simply an expanded version of the so-called ‘fact sheets’ prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which seek to justify the deal that officials and the National government have negotiated, according to University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.

‘The NIA is a totally predictable cheerleading exercise that talks up the supposed gains and largely ignores the huge downsides of the TPPA’, Professor Kelsey said.

An Australian Senate Inquiry into the treaty making process last year dismissed similar exercises produced by MFAT’s counterparts in Australia as totally inadequate, and called for a genuine independent, in-depth study before as well as after the conclusion of negotiations, including the TPPA.

The flimsy NIA contrasts to the careful and detailed analysis in five peer reviewed expert papers on the implications of the TPPA that have been produced so far as part of a series supported by funding from the New Zealand Law Foundation.

These expert papers examine the impacts on New Zealand’s regulatory sovereignty, the investment chapter, climate change and the environment, the economics of the TPPA, and the Treaty of Waitangi and are available at tpplegal.wordpress.com. More papers are to come on financial regulation, public services, and IT and innovation.

‘If the government wants its assessment of the national interest of the TPPA to be taken seriously it needs to engage with these independent expert papers and attempt to rebut the analyses by which the authors conclude that the deal is not of net benefit to New Zealand, now or in the future’, Professor Kelsey said.

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