TPPA signing in NZ next month?

It’s being reported that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement will be signed by the 12 countries involved in New Zealand in early February, but the Government says this has not yet been confirmed.

Radio NZ reports Govt denies Chilean claim about TPPA signing.

Duty minister Simon Bridges said despite an official statement by the Chilean government that the controversial trade deal will be signed on 4 February in New Zealand, arrangements are not yet confirmed.

The statement, issued by Chile’s General Directorate of International Economic Relations head Andrés Rebolledo Smitmans, said the agreement would be signed by ministers from the 12 countries that negotiated the deal.

Not surprisingly this initiated criticism from opponents of the agreement.

The announcement sparked criticism from opponents of the deal, who said the fact the public only learned about the signing from overseas reports showed the government was still trying to limit the chance for New Zealanders to make their opposition heard.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said it would be insulting to New Zealanders if the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement was signed in this country two days before Waitangi Day.

He said having a signing ceremony for an agreement that eroded national sovereignty two days before New Zealand marked its own day of sovereignty would be arrogant and provocative.

A prominent critic of the controversial trade deal, Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey said the lack of any formal announcement by the New Zealand government before now was consistent with its “obsessive secrecy” throughout the negotiations.

“It seems quite reckless to sign a deal on the fourth of February when everyone knows that US politics will determine the final content. So there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge here.”

But perhaps Kelsey is premature.

However, Simon Bridges said a number of countries were still working through the domestic approval processes required before signature.

He said arrangements for the TPPA’s signing had not yet been confirmed and further details would be announced when and if they were confirmed.

It appears that Kelsey ‘broke’ this story yesterday in a post at The Daily Blog – BREAKING: Offshore confirmation: Ministers to sign TPPA in NZ on 4 February 2016

In that post Kelsey claimed:

Polls have shown the government doesn’t have popular support for the deal.

Technically that may be correct but it’s misleading. While a recent NZH/Digipoll showed only 22.9% supported the TPPA there was also only 33.1 opposed, with 45% “I don’t know enough to form any view”.

In comments at The Daily Blog Kelsey ‘clarifies’:

There is a difference between signing and ratification. Obama can sign on 4 Feb, after giving 90 days notice to Congress that he intended to do so. The approval of US Congress is needed for the implementing legislation that must be passed before the TPPA can come into force in the US and there are lots of other ways that US politics will make its presence felt. See my process paper at  https://tppascratchspace.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/jk-on-treaty-process.pdf 

She didn’t say this in her post. So the unconfirmed signing is not the final step. The TPPA still needs to be ratified.

It could be useful to try to build support for a series of protest meetings planned for later this month:

A series of high profile public meetings has been planned for the main cities at the end of January, starting with Auckland Town Hall on the evening of 26th January, followed by Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

 

 

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19 Comments

  1. Iceberg

     /  8th January 2016

    When will it dawn on Kelsey that posting anything on the daily blog is the credibility kiss of death.

    Reply
  2. Pete Brian

     /  8th January 2016

    The fact that the government it being so secretive makes this seem like a dodgy deal. We have been bombarded with information about the flag change but nothing about the TPPA. The only info I have seen on the TPPA is from activist groups. You would think the govt would be informing the public of the intricacies of this deal so that we can make an informed decision. But instead we get nothing, it’s not very democratic. It’s as if they’re trying to hide something.

    Reply
    • It doesn’t take much to find Government information on the TPPA

      Try: http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/

      Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  8th January 2016

      Funny enough I thought we had a general election in order to select a government to represent our best interests domestically & overseas?

      Therefore unless you are a conspiracy theorist why would you think that the elected government of this country would be working against our own interests, especially when the leaked transcript of the negotiations, and the final agreement itself shows that our negotiators were doing an outstanding job in protecting our interests. Remember the USA are complaining that we got TOO GOOD of a deal compared to themselves……….

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  8th January 2016

        ‘ our negotiators were doing an outstanding job in protecting our interests. ‘…is that right!I wonder why Groser referred to NZ having to swallow a few dead rats then.Any ideas.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  8th January 2016

          Any deal is about compromise – only numpties like Bradbury, Minto etc live in some fantasy land where the USA should get nothing from us whilst giving us everything that we request. The ‘dead rats’ that were always going to be swallowed were obviously not as large or numerous than the one’s the USA (and some other countries) had to endure……

          Reply
    • Here’s an idea Pete Brian ,if you are so concerned why dont you get off your fat lazy arse and seek the info for yourself, instead of bitching that the govt isnt spoon feeding you the info you so desperatly need.

      Reply
      • Pete Brian

         /  8th January 2016

        What do you expect me to do? Tap John Keys phone? Hack into his emails? What? It’s the government job to keep the public informed, some people forget that they actually have a purpose other than traveling around the world at the taxpayers expense.

        Reply
  3. kittycatkin

     /  8th January 2016

    Tangent; I wish that the antis would remove the posters that they have stuck on surfaces (to advertise a demo last November) all over town and which now look, in many cases, tatty. This is just another form of grafitti. Some unlucky person will have the tedious job of removing these-I suppose by soaking them with turps and peeling them off. They’ll have to go into landfill, because the glue will mean that they can’t be recycled. I wish that the antis had as much concern for the environment as they have for their cause.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  8th January 2016

      water based glue dear.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  8th January 2016

        I’d like to think so, but it seems really difficult to remove-I see a few where someone has tried and failed. I remember a few years ago when it was all but impossible to remove some things that had been stuck on around the place & how awful it looked.If they were on a painted surface, like a bus stop, it meant that some paint came off, too. Either way, someone has to go around and take the damned things down,

        Reply
    • Pete Brian

       /  8th January 2016

      Instead of removing them they should just cross out the date and put the date of the next protest 4 Feb skycity. It would be less work and less cost than putting up new ones.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  8th January 2016

        Or not put them up in the first place on other people’s property. I would like to see what would happen if I stuck posters and stickers on the houses of these people. The person who said that it’s another form of grafitti was right. It looks dreadful when they are tatty and mangy and well out of date.

        Bill Posters should be prosecuted-he deserves to be 😀

        Reply
  4. Gee, Iceberg kicked us right “off topic” there to begin with eh? Thanks Pete Brian and PG for some steerage. The mfat link is very useful PG. Even I can understand simple diagrams and statements like –

    “Economic modelling commissioned by the Government estimates that once fully in effect, TPP would add at least $2.7 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP by 2030”

    2013/14 figures vary for Kiwi GDP from 183 – 231 billion NZ$ but let’s say $200 bill? So TPP results in a roughly 1.2 % increase in GDP finally achieved in 15 years time, I assume progressively building up to it? Its a medium term outcome, right?

    Given that GDP could probably be expected to rise anyhow – I believe it rose 3.5% in 2014 on inflation of 1% – this medium term GDP growth from TPP does not seem like a very good return to me?

    Especially not considering the agreement is between “TPP parties” who constitute 36% of global GDP, to which we export 40% of goods, 47% of services and 73% of overseas direct investment, and import 75% of foreign investment. I can’t find any mention of our percentage imports from these countries? [Wiki says of our 6 major import partners constituting 56.6% of total imports, TPP countries make up 35.8%(of the total)]

    Investigating NZ’s GDP generally is a sobering new experience for me –

    “New Zealand’s economy has a sizable service sector, accounting for 63% of all GDP activity in 2013.[15] Large scale manufacturing industries include aluminum production, food processing, metal fabrication, wood and paper products. Mining, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water, and waste services accounted for 16.5% of GDP in 2013.[15] The primary sector continues to dominate New Zealand’s exports, despite accounting for 6.5% of GDP in 2013”

    Are you seriously telling me all this fuss about dairy and the WHOLE PRIMARY SECTOR only accounts for 6.5% of GDP!??? Holy F*CK!

    Other sobering stuff at – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_New_Zealand

    NZ has chosen to be the “depositary” of TPP – sounds awful like “the recepticle” – which I guess explains the signing happening here? I’ll be pissed if its a couple of days before Waitangi too.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  8th January 2016

      Tl;Dr like all the other passive agressive nonsense you post.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the feedback Iceberg. I may indeed be passive aggressive, sometimes or selectively so. I’ll take that along to my next counselling session.

        These words of yours –

        “When will it dawn on Kelsey that posting anything on the daily blog is the credibility kiss of death”

        – are presumably both “on topic” and NOT passive aggressive? Just plain aggressive maybe? Regardless, they add so much to the discussion about the “TPP signing in NZ next month”.

        Cheers Ψ

        Reply
    • Goldie

       /  8th January 2016

      The $2.7bn gain is only assuming the boost from the reduction in tariffs. However, this is a big underestimate.

      There are big gains are because NZ exporters now have a level playing field. So, for example, Japan has reduced tariffs on NZ exporters. The immediate gain is several million on existing exports. But this also means that NZ exporters, who were previously shut out completely because they had to pay a higher tariff than other countries, are now able to enter a new market which was previously completely shut to them. So a whole new market is opened up – the benefits of that are incalculable but huge.

      In addition, the signatories now accept NZ-written trade rules – again, the benefits are incalculable but potentially enormous. TPP is not just about tariff reduction/elimination. The really big stuff is actually in the signatories accepting a set of trade rules which were mostly written in NZ. Most of NZ exports are food products, and the biggest barriers to food exports are not tariffs, but food hygiene barriers. These food hygiene barriers are often written in a way to exclude NZ exports and protect domestic producers. For example, if I was a food producer, I would have to pay for Japanese auditors to come out to NZ to check that my food met Japanese food requirements. TPP abolishes these – the Japanese now accept NZ assurances. And the Chapters relating to this were written by NZ! So the biggest barriers to NZ exports have come down. Again, thee are not immediately quantifiable, but it means that markets which were previously closed are now opened.

      So the $2.7 billion is a very conservative estimate based on current trade – it doesn’t take into account the growth of trade that will result.

      Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  8th January 2016

    ‘there are big gains are because NZ exporters now have a level playing field. So, for example, Japan has reduced tariffs on NZ exporters. The immediate gain is several million on existing exports. But this also means that NZ exporters, who were previously shut out completely because they had to pay a higher tariff than other countries, are now able to enter a new market which was previously completely shut to them. So a whole new market is opened up – the benefits of that are incalculable but huge.

    In addition, the signatories now accept NZ-written trade rules – ‘…can you give any specific examples…the figures Groser gave for Dairy were underwhelming.What new markets are you talking about?

    Reply
  6. Gawdfather

     /  13th January 2016

    It won’t be at Sky City.. thats a red herring!

    oh and kittycatkin … you think you have problems now… wait til you see what happens if the damn TPPA is signed! You will be missing the days of harmless old posters! Mark my words… life should be so easy!

    Reply

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