The dominant online Labour view on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is negative, despite Helen Clark saying it was ‘unthinkable’ that New Zealand stay out of such a large Pacific Rim trade agreement (and despite it being initiated by Labour in 2003 and worked on right through to the end of Clark’s tenure in 2008).
Rob Salmond seems to expand on Grant Robertson’s themes in TPP, eh? at Public Address.
The deal really is a very big one globally; it’s just not such a big deal for New Zealand.
It looks to me like the biggest loser in the deal is Mexico. It doesn’t get much in the way of market access that it didn’t already have via NAFTA, and the US-Japan deal on autos hurts a lot of Mexican factories purpose-built to supply auto parts from Japanese car companies into the US.
New Zealand isn’t as big of a loser as Mexico, but its gains are very small, and could get swallowed by the sovereignty losses.
Comments are also generally negative.
Greg Presland at The Standard: TPPA agreement reached
The TPPA has been agreed to. Dairy access improvement is minimal, there will be a cost hit on Pharmac and every industry but Tobacco will be able to access the investor state dispute resolution procedure.
Lynn Prentice at The Standard not strictly speaking a Labourite now): As expected, TPPA gives a peanut return
In 15 to 25 years, long long after I have retired, and the TPPA is fully realised. It maybe worth an extra $260 million per year in possible tariff benefits. By contrast, the China Free Trade Agreement within 5 years was increasing our exports each year by an extra $350 million. But the costs for the TPPA start as soon as it is signed. We may make a profit off it in 10 years. This is not a good deal.
Anthony Robins: TPP roundup
A roundup of the best analysis of and reaction to the TPP. The gains are minor and delayed, the losses are real. In NZ we don’t have any democratic input into ratification, but the US does, and the deal may fall there.
Robins starts his post quoting staunch TPPA opponents Jane Kelsey and Gordon Campbell.
What about the Labour Party itself?
NBR reports: Labour says jury’s out on supporting TPP
Senior Labour Party politicians are waiting for the detail of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade and investment pact before declaring whether it breaches any of the five “bottom lines” the party says the TPP must meet before deciding whether to maintain the long-standing practice of bi-partisan political support for trade deals.
Written statements from acting Labour leader Annette King and finance spokesman Grant Robertson both cited the bottom lines without saying they had been breached.
“Too early to be sure,” said Mr Robertson in answer to a texted question from BusinessDesk. “On land/housing sales, it doesn’t look good, with Aussie-style ban on purchase of existing houses seemingly prevented.”
In her statement, Mrs King said: “Labour supports free trade but the TPPA is more than just a trade agreement. The government must come clean now on what ‘ugly compromises’ they have made behind closed doors.”
So some general criticisms but understandably they need to wait to see the details.
Leader Andrew Little is on holiday and has not commented and the party’s trade spokesman, David Parker, is also out of the country.
Unfortunate timing for Little – or perhaps fortunate, it gives him time to digest the agreement and work out a suitable response, but his absence has left a vacuum for Labour’s online warriors to attack the agreement.
Parker’s absence may also be just a quirk of timing, it’s common for MPs to take a break during Parliamentary recesses and school holidays.
But as Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson Parker seems to have been quiet on the TPPA for some time. His last news release as posted on Labour’s website was on 19 August (on Saudi sheep and SkyCity).
His last item on the TPP was on July 31 – Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
Like the details of the TPPA Labour’s position on the twelve country trade agreement may take some time to emerge with any clarity.