Green unease over TPPA
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 7:21a.m.
By Dylan Moran
Green parties from New Zealand, Australia and Canada have joined together to oppose the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
The next round of negotiations on the trade deal begin in Auckland next week, and proponents say it could provide a significant boost for our economy.
But Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the TPPA will not pay the dividends which have been promised.
US government official documents released to whistleblowing website Wikileaks two years ago showed New Zealand’s chief negotiator Mark Sinclair had doubts about the viability of an agreement’s benefit here – saying “public perception [is] getting into the US will be an ‘El Dorado’ for New Zealand's commercial sector. However, the reality is different."
“The reality behind the scenes [is] our own lead negotiator is telling us that those numbers aren’t true and yet here we have the Government and all the others saying, ‘Oh this is great,'" Dr Norman told Firstline this morning. "Actually it’s not, they’re just making it up.”
The Green Party also has concerns around the negotiation process, an unease shared by public opponents to the deal.
In May this year 100 members of the legal community banded together and signed a petition expressing their disagreement with the Government’s lack of communication on negotiations, a process which has entirely taken place behind closed doors.
“The people of New Zealand aren’t being told what’s in the treaty, so we’ve all gotta rely on leaked texts to find out what’s going on,” says Dr Norman, though he concedes the process isn’t unusual. “It’s probably true that a lot of them are negotiated like this, but it’s not a good thing.
“Here we have John Key and the rest, and the Labour Party is thick in this as well, signing up to these secret agreements which bind all future Governments and prevent us doing things in the future and stop us from regulating industry, and can mean we can be sued by corporations, and yet the people of New Zealand never know what’s in these agreements until after they’re being signed,” says Dr Norman.
The 15th round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will be held in Auckland on December 3.
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5/12/2012 2:13:31 p.m.
Garth, as is pointed out quite clearly: these other negotiators already know our hand, so we're not negotiating with THEM in secret, but we're making sure we're giving no indication to the public of what is being negotiated by these negotiators.
3/12/2012 9:37:15 p.m.
This would be a thrilling debate if the results had not already been played out all over the world. And in all cases the big economies end up owning the small ones. What Labour and National have done and are continuing to do would be criminal if we weren't all so consentingly stupid.
3/12/2012 12:17:20 p.m.
Garth, can we lock them up as criminals when it all goes to custurd.
29/11/2012 9:46:04 a.m.
Garth Wyllie wrote:
The art of negotiation is not to reveal your hand early and that is why TPP negotiations are done on a confidential basis. Sure we would all love to know the full details but if we lay all of our cards on the table the US and other major players will know exactly how to respond to negate what we want. I have every confidence that the New Zealand negotiators will get a good position for New Zealand from this and if you want a good example of this then look at the China FTA (done under labour) where our 2 way trade has jumped hugely and just in time to negate the worst effects of the GFC. We are a small nation but we are a cornerstone player in this agreement with our existing P4 agreement forming the backbone of what is being negotiated.
In spite of the fears being expressed by the greens and flat earth brigade, we will get a good deal and no the US will not get all it wants simple because there are 11 countries in this process and not just US and New Zealand. That evens up the negotiating power considerably and we should understand that. Canada by the way locks out our dairy products right now so if this helps to open the door a crack at a time, then there is only an upside by including them.
My message is trust our New Zealand negotiators - they are expert and experienced in these type of deals!
29/11/2012 9:00:53 a.m.
Mike if you think our milk, cheese and meat sales will increase in the U.S. is all an illusion. The Free trade agreement will achieve no benefits to trade. Australia want to pull out of theres.
29/11/2012 7:50:54 a.m.
Ian Todd wrote:
If you want to see how good for people TPPA will be, just google NAFTA and see what a disaster it has been for the 99% of North America. We don't want this deal!
29/11/2012 5:48:41 a.m.
tpp is about the removal of democracy from individual countries. It is about reinforcing corporate power, and enforcing neoliberal policies on states that do not want them. Our current government are collusive in this 100%, at the betrayal of our nation.
CHRIS from the first comment: In fact, the Greens are probably the most relevant party of all. You say their policies are <q>Unworkable, anti progress, anti business</q> yet have you actually examined any of these policies? Your comment is ignorant and abusive, clearly deliberately so.
We have gone so far extreme in our economic policies in the western world, over the last 30 years, that it is only the inconvenient fact of elections that stops a total corporate takeover. As it is, the corporate influence in our own government is far too large and dangerous.
Russell Norman has spoken fact and truth - I challenge anyone to dispute anything said in this interview.
We are in danger of losing human rights and democracy and for what - the greed of a small few.
29/11/2012 2:30:29 a.m.
@CHRIS the point is not about the Greens somehow being relevant, the point is about our government saying that it will be a boom to our economy, when actually it will allow corporations to sue our government in the future.
Who gives a shit what party is in power, how is that going to help our country?
28/11/2012 10:02:58 p.m.
The Greens are irrelevant. They will never be a mainstream political organization as their policies are in real life unworkable, anti progress, anti business and anti free trade an anti competitive. They promote welfare on the tail coats of capitalism and the hard working. There environmental policies are based on ignorance and fear mongering. This is why the Greens will never achieved any political dominance as people can see when for what they are - liars, scaremongers, social engineers and manipulators.
28/11/2012 11:08:46 a.m.
TPP is no silver bullet.What it is, is an opportunity.NZ already has about the most open economy in the world with the lowest tariffs on imports, and the lowest barriers to imports into NZ.What the TPP will do will reduce tariffs and restraint of trade against NZ exports to those countries in the TPP. This wont marically increase our exports, but it gives an opportunity for export growth.On the flip side TPP does require some leveling of laws so the partners can work together more and in each others countries - much like CER has done with Australia. CER had everyone screaming it wouldn't be good for anyone back when it was proposed, and TPP is no different. Those screaming the most want to protect their own little areas and lock the rest of the world out.Will we see some changes in NZ? Of course. We currently follow world trade (WTO) rules, and copyright rules. But with TPP we will probably see our enforcment have to improve. Take copyright enforcment in NZ, its SHODDY. While various international crims complain about the US laws for internet companys, the world is moveing that way and even our own internet companys (eg Trade-Me) are moving to US style compliance even though NZ law is lagging behind.
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