David Clark on the TPPA

Labour’s new trade spokesperson David Clark has been out of sight nationally on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Audrey Young in Labour leader gambles in opposing trade deal:

Three guesses who Labour’s trade spokesman is …

…it is in fact Dunedin MP and former reverend David Clark, and has been since last November in Andrew Little’s first-anniversary reshuffle.

But the Trans-Pacific Partnership is far too major an issue at present to be handled by Clark.

For the next few months, Little himself and Robertson will be de facto trade spokesmen.

It was Robertson who spoke on Labour’s behalf at the It’s Our Future/Jane Kelsey anti-TPPA meeting in Auckland on Tuesday.

Fran O’Sullivan in TPP is too important for Little’s partisan political football:

…the real pity of Little’s stance is that it undercuts the intention of his new trade spokesman David Clark to reassert Labour’s decades long role in working either in or out of government with is major opponent in a bipartisan approach on trade.

But Clark appears to have bought into the Kelsey/Robertson/now Little anti-TPPA stance.

In an MP’s View in Dunedin’s The Star weekly Clark echoes Andrew Little: “My thoughts on the TPPA’:

Labour for trade but TPP concerns abide

There’s a gathering tomorrow from 7 pm at Burns Hall in Moray Place. I will probably stick my head in. It is about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

That was Jane Kelsey campaigning strongly against the TPP. I was there, and Clark probably did stick his head in.

Dunedin’s other Labour MP Clare Curran made herself prominent there too.

Labour, with strong roots in Dunedin, has a long commitment to international trade.

Eighty years ago, the first Labour government was noteworthy in pushing increased trade access and the opportunity to grow international markets.

Generally countries give up barriers to trade only when they believe it makes good sense for them to do so. As a small nation heavily dependent on trade, our country has often led the charge.

Thanks to Helen Clark, Phil Goff and others, New Zealand signed the first free trade agreement with China. We are richer as a country as a result.

Kelsey campaigned against the China FTA and other trade agreements.

Like previous Labour trade spokespeople, I am committed to trade. I don’t want to live without coffee or bananas. If we stopped trading in dairy or tourism, we couldn’t afford to keep our schools and hospitals open. As a country, we need trade for our prosperity.

Clark (or Star editors) has a curious use of commas.

Labour continues to support gains from trade. Because barriers to international  trade are a lot smaller than they use to be, by definition the gains to be made from modern trade agreements are increasingly modest. The Labour Party supports these gains still.

But the Labour Party will oppose moves to undermine our country’s constitutional integrity. Months ago, Andrew Little released a set of bottom lines on the TPP agreement. It has since become clear that Labour’s concern about protecting Kiwi land – expressed in those bottom lines – is not addressed in the final text of the agreement.

Other countries, including Australia, have secured sovereignty protections for home ownership.

Interesting that he calls them “sovereignty protections”. Australians can buy homes in New Zealand – does that threaten our sovereignty?

It turns out New Zealand did not even ask for these protections in the TPP negotiations. Our Government has failed to get the best deal for New Zealanders.

Moreover the actual TPP text requires us to allow non-citizens, including overseas corporates, to have a say on law changes in a number of areas.

As in the China FTA? And other existing agreements supported by Labour?

Future trade agreements negotiated by a Labour government will better protect our sovereign rights.

Labour (now, Greens and NZ First all oppose the TPP agreement. Greens opposed the China FTA and other trade agreements. How could a Labour/Green/NZ First government negotiate a trade agreement in the future?

The government has the numbers to pass TPP-enabling legislation in our Parliament. Despite this Labour will continue to oppose those things that have no place in an agreement that should focus on market access and increased trade.

Clark doesn’t make it clear whether Labour would vote against any TPP related legislation regardless of whether they agreed or disagreed with the specific legislation.

Will Labour (except Phil Goff) vote against every TPP related bill in symbolic opposition to the whole agreement? They don’t get to vote on the agreement as a whole.

Like others around the country, tomorrow’s gathering in Moray Place will send a crisp message to the Government. If you can spare the time I’d enjoy seeing you there.

I don’t think the Government will get much message at all from the fourth in a series of meetings opposing the TPP.

But Clark has sent a crisp message that he is on message for his leader and the majority of the Labour caucus in opposing the TPP.

And he has sent a crisp message to the public that he is in support of the It’s Our Future/Jane Kelsey anti-TPP and anti-trade agreement campaign.

 

68 Comments

  1. In all of their appeals to emotion which is standard fare for obscuring the facts, not a word has been included in the Labour ravings about the reciprocal rights being acquired by New Zealand and the positive benefits accruing. I have read all off the TPPA as published by MFAT, and looked in depth at the US Congressional Research Units assessments including Agriculture and can see real improvements for global trading disciplines whereby other States are constrained in their use of barriers to trade to the benefit of all. We give a little to achieve more than modest benefits to our trading situation, so Jae can have her bananas and Coffee as well as us. Life is a series of compromises which are worth taking for long-term benefit. The TPPA on balance does this for us.

    • Iceberg

       /  January 30, 2016

      Queue Blazer with more obfuscation and nonsense.

      • Blazer

         /  January 30, 2016

        you called…’Like previous Labour trade spokespeople, I am committed to trade. I don’t want to live without coffee or bananas. If we stopped trading in dairy or tourism, we couldn’t afford to keep our schools and hospitals open. As a country, we need trade for our prosperity.’….so is this the evidence that Kelsey…is against trade?

        • Don’t be cute Blazer. I did not say she was opposed to Trade, but she is clearly against the TPPA and was against the China NZ FTA and is generally ideologically opposed to Global Trade as demonstrated in her speeches

          In answer to you questions about trade benefits for New Zealand, you can read it all in the 10 or so Fact Sheets at “https://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/#fact_sheets” and for the whole picture read the other multiple assessments of the lead agency MFATat their website. I am not prepared to continue to do the research you and other fixed leftwing minds have. Be opposed but remember the headline on this blog as to why it exists.

          • Blazer

             /  January 30, 2016

            ‘I am not attacking her, merely the basis of her motivation of being ant-trade, and her political stance.’…guess who posted this….clue begins with bj…!

      • Yes, however to make it clear, the following facts need reiteration:

        Question: Can New Zealand legislate to control purchase of land or houses (cf Little and Clark statements)
        Answer :Yes. First though it must comply with International Law as per th TPPA which states:

        “The Parties confirm their shared understanding that “customary international law” generally and as specifically referenced in Article 9.6 (Minimum Standard of Treatment) results from a general and consistent practice of States that they follow from a sense of legal obligation. The customary international law minimum standard of treatment of aliens refers to all customary international law principles that protect the investments of aliens.

        In addition, at Annex 9 H para 4 it states”

        “4. A decision under New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Act 2005 to grant consent, or to decline to grant consent, to an overseas investment transaction that requires prior consent under that Act shall not be subject to the dispute settlement provisions under Section B (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) or Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement). ”

        The 2005 Overseas Investment Act was passed by Helen Clark’s Government with support from National MPs it constrains sales of a range of land types, by specific location in the case of somesensitive land. In addition, purchase of land is constrained by this:

        “”Obtaining consent
        Applicants for consent must satisfy a number of criteria, including the core “investor test” criteria. In addition, consent to acquire sensitive land will only be granted if:
        • the transaction will, or is likely to, benefit New Zealand, or alternatively
        • the relevant overseas person intends to reside in New Zealand indefinitely.
        Some types of land (such as farm land) also have specific consent criteria.
        Applicants for consent to acquire fishing quota must satisfy a “national interest test.”

        Now I consider that the TPPA negotiators for New Zealand have dome a good job of preserving our sovereignty as well as obtaining valuable if not yet perfect benefits to New Zealand’s global trade and democracy?

        • BJ – nice fact based posts… Thanks

          • Thanks Dave, it is good to know that you see some value in the facts unlike others who bemuse me with their dismissal of facts which should change their viewpoint.

            • Ideology is blind BJ. I am no fan of the copyright provisions in the deal – the extension seems unwarranted to me. But on balance this will do good things for NZ economically and sets a platform for better terms down the line. Signing the first agreement is just the first step to further negotiations for ongoing additions like enhanced agricultural access to Japan…

            • Yes, but the scum who are anti TPPA aren’t blind as thy demonstrated by grafffiti painted on a Government MP’s office.. They are so stupid or doen’t care that those of us paying the rates and taxes will end up fixing their stupid action, nor do they count the cost of providing the security for the signing and the Treaty commemoration which must be near a millio dollard when salaries and overtime, transport, food and accommodation etc are taken into accoun. They will say probably well that is the price of democracy and the Government will pay. They don’t realise the Government doesn’t have money, its the taxpayers. It is time commonsense was once again applied to our response to such protests and the users should be made to pay the actual costs they incur. User pays is fair enough isn’t it? I sense the majority of the community are becoming very fixed in their attitude to the ratbags who organise these protests and want to see real tough action taken against the few individuals involved.

            • Blazer

               /  January 30, 2016

              ‘ the scum who are anti TPPA ‘….this sort of remark ,says alot about you…and you have now been caught out lying about Kelsey.Name calling seems a reflex action for the right.

    • Blazer

       /  January 30, 2016

      so tell us about the net benefits then…we’re all ears..the only analysis I ‘ve seen says they are negligible.Its a Claytons trade agreement.

      • See my reply above.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 30, 2016

          You are wasting your time with Blazer. However often something is explained to him he will ignore it and pretend it never happened whenever it suits him. There are Lefties with some integrity and interest in the truth but he is not one of them. He is just noise in the information highway and of no earthly use to anyone. Can anyone remember anything useful or intelligent he has ever said?

          • Blazer

             /  January 30, 2016

            says the master of….either calling everyone who has an alternate viewpoint …’stupid’ or the feeble retort….’yawn’!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 30, 2016

              It wasn’t a retort, it was an involuntary reaction to your incessant drivel. I’m sure you must get it often – or do people just run screaming out of the room when you arrive?

          • Iceberg

             /  January 30, 2016

            Blazer is a Troll, intent on wrecking every thread. Don’t feed it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 30, 2016

              Yes, he is. But he is also a shining example of the impenetrable thickness of the Left so deserves to be hung up and displayed in all his glorious stupidity.

          • I agree Alan and mikepuke I would normally not waste an oxygen on his type, but they rely on the drip of water principle and the shout loudly and offensively until those of different opinions get so bored thy don’t take him on with his half truths and challenges for information which is already in the public arena so as to make a negative point. I will not bow to such bullying.

      • John Schmidt

         /  January 30, 2016

        There are two parts to winning and losing. The part not debated is what if we don’t sign and all the others do. If I was an exporter under this scenerio all of a sudden my goods have tariffs and competitors from signed countries have zero tariffs. 30% tariff is not uncommon so overnight the NZ exporters competiveness has deteriorated by 30%. The NZ exporter is faced with two decisions, withdraw from the market or reduce the price of their goods by 30% to remain competive. How this scenerio is good for NZ escapes me as its a lose lose. Can anyone one explain how this likely scenario is a great idea and why we should not sign with this as a likely outcome.

    • Kevin

       /  January 31, 2016

      “I have read all off the TPPA as published by MFAT, and looked in depth at the US Congressional Research Units assessments including Agriculture”

      That’s a lot more than what 99.99% of TPPA critics have done, including the world’s greatest sysop and legal expert, who calls it a “restraint of trade” agreement.

      • Rob

         /  January 31, 2016

        “That’s a lot more than what 99.99% of TPPA critics have done, including the world’s greatest sysop and legal expert, who calls it a “restraint of trade” agreement.” That goes for both sides Kevin. You’d be naive to think it didn’t.

  2. mikepuke

     /  January 30, 2016

    I can’t believe these idiots. Without trade there are no jobs. Without people working where is the money coming from to support those on benefits?

    • Blazer

       /  January 30, 2016

      Trade goes on without this agreement.Its not about trade …verstehense!

      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  January 30, 2016

        Are you really that simple Blazer – Lets say this again for your benefit: if we are outside the TPPA and Australia (one of our biggest trade competitors) for instance is part of the TPPA trade deals are going to be so much harder to obtain whilst the TPPA countries increase trade among themselves with reduced tariffs. So as time goes on we become more and more noncompetitive and our trade stalls. That is the truth of the manner, has been pointed out on here many times, but you continue spreading rubbish and misinformation??

        • Blazer

           /  January 30, 2016

          I am not simple,stupid or a breathless child.There are over 200 countries in the world to trade with.We are good at producing food-the world needs food.You are ignoring reality,this deal is not about trade.You nor anyone else can predict what may happen in the future.

          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  January 30, 2016

            I just gave you the reality of not being in the TPPA and all you come back with is we can just deal with 200 other countries (just not some of our main ones that our country depends on). Australia is just as good at producing food as us but will be trader of choice to it’s TPPA partners & cheaper to boot due to the lack of tariffs that we will still have to account for.

            Helen Clark, Phil Goff, David Shearer, Mike Moore all get it & put aside politics to say so – you don’t get it.

            • Blazer

               /  January 30, 2016

              I just told you we dont need it.0.9% increase in GDP in the year 2030…underwhelming.Why do you think the 80% of the agreement that is not about trade is unimportant?

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  January 30, 2016

              Again you are not listening – I posted extensively the other day pointing out the 0.9% increase is on the basis that our current GDP growth remains the same as it is now (with no TPPA) but that wont be true as the TPPA countries will reduce our GDP as they trade with each other. The difference to our GDP if we are out or in the TPPA will be significant. You can argue about the other items within the TPPA but the trade portion is big for New Zealand, we can’t let trade competition like Australia join and we don’t. Simple economics but obviously still too simple for you to grasp.

            • Blazer

               /  January 30, 2016

              so countries that sign up to the TPPA are forbidden to trade with non members are they..!Please show me where people have been able to make projections that were accurate regarding trade for 15 years hence.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 30, 2016

              You can rule out your hero Karl Marx on that basis, Blazer. Plus the Club of Rome, peak oil, peak everything else, climate alarmists, and anti-free-traders from here till Christmas.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  January 30, 2016

          Yes, as discussed above, our tame troll just keeps on keeping on. He didn’t get to be stupid by accident. Deliberate behaviour caused it and keeps it.

          • Blazer

             /  January 30, 2016

            ‘United States President Barack Obama has formally welcomed Tim Groser as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States’….thats for you Angry Al…just to bring you up to speed.Laziness and ignorance are a hallmark of your posts.

            • Rob

               /  January 30, 2016

              Don’t let Wilkinson grind you down Blazer. He likes to think he’s winding people up. Let him have his fantasy.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  January 30, 2016

              I would be surprised Rob if you can’t see the logic that our trade will be definitely affected if we are not part of the TPPA (as described in detail above).

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 30, 2016

              So Groser got welcomed by Obama this afternoon. Score a point, Blazer. But I won’t be still repeating the same misinformation tomorrow and you will be.

  3. Verstehen is a German term that means to understand, perceive, know, and comprehend the nature and significance of a phenomenon. To grasp or comprehend the meaning intended or expressed by another. You obviously were not around when it was handed out11

  4. @ Mikepuke and others – Always “either, or” isn’t it? If you’re not with us you’re against us. If you question capitalism you must be “socialist”. If you question TPP you must be “anti-trade”. Too easy folks. Too “impenetrably thick” and right-wing stupid.

    I don’t think anyone involved is anti-trade. Some people are simply questioning the “terms and conditions” of trade under TPP and what else comes along with it in the agreement.

    There certainly appears to be a geopolitical strategic [military] re-alignment component?
    If this means we are “inherently” one of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’, then I personally am gravely concerned about that. (And not everyone can be expected to read the thing in its entirety)

    And yes, TPP and FTAs generally do pertain to greater issues of “free market” capitalism, globalisation, international trade and international investment, a multi-faceted and incredibly complex discussion. A work in progress …

    • Pnz… containing China geo politically is no bad thing. Go ask their neighbours how they feel about China and how it interacts with them. the reason countries like Vietnam, Malayasia Japan and Singapore are in the deal is trade but also to maintain a close relationship with their backstop militarily in the US. PRC are a dangerous beast

      • @ dave1924 – Despite their nuclear ‘superpower’ status and obvious military might, China’s actual military actions and exploits since the late 1970s – including significant peacekeeping – reads like a Sunday School picnic compared to those of the United States. Indeed –

        “China responded to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by supporting the Afghan mujahideen and ramping up their military presence near Afghanistan in Xinjiang. China acquired military equipment from the United States to defend itself from Soviet attack”.

        The Chinese would no doubt argue most of what they do is to keep America and Russia in check? Not to mention Japan! Who could possibly blame them for being wary of Japan!?

        However dangerous PRC is, it is difficult to argue that the United States isn’t a “dangerous beast”? The only nation to actually use nuclear weapons in a war. Capable of ‘atrocities’ like Iraq and Afghanistan and sanctions against Iran costing 500,000 children’s lives, which Madeline Albright described as being “worth it” … Greatest supporters of the oppressor State of Israel … et al ad infinitum.

        • Pnz… if you would be happy ditching a friendship and alliance with the US in favour of the PRC then that tells me all I need to know……

          • @ dave1924 – If you are happy responding that way to what I said, which makes no mention whatsoever of “ditching a friendship and alliance with the US” then that tells me all I need to know …

            Less aligned perhaps? More independent? More diverse?

            Interesting about Fiji isn’t it? Russia’s not “axis of evil” is it? Or China?

            “In response [to sanctions], Fiji sought new international partners – establishing 57 new diplomatic partnerships since 2006 – and, in particular, deepening ties with first China, and now, Russia”

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/22/secretive-shipment-of-arms-donated-by-russia-to-fiji-raises-concerns

            Dr Michael Bassett on “nuclear free” and the ANZUS rift –

            “some New Zealanders and Americans tried suggesting that the Labour Government had simply been taken over by extreme left-wingers, or had succumbed to Soviet propaganda.(5) But that line of reasoning was unconvincing for several reasons: first, the Labour ministry was clearly dedicated to free enterprise, as its market reforms demonstrated, and secondly, domestic public opinion became so enthusiastic about the anti-nuclear policy that the strongly pro-American National Opposition adopted it on the eve of the 1990 election. It’s a bit hard to argue that we had all become pro-Soviet extremists!”

            http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/article_fulbright.htm

            • Bassett’s comments look pretty sick when one reads of Little et als opposition tothe TPPA.

  5. “including overseas corporates, to have a say on law changes in a number of areas.”

    That is hilarious. Who turns up at select committees all the time? Would contributes copiously to Ministry consultation requests? Gee its foreign corporates… like I don’t know… hmmm let me see….oh the major trading banks in NZ which are all foreign owned and are in the consultation loop with the RBNZ, like tobacco and Alcohol companies [DB and Lion both offshore owned]

    Why do Labour put such stupid statements in their pressers? Rhetorical question really its to feed the gullible and push the meme we are run out of a shadowy corporate head office places unknown…

    • Dead right Dave again. Nonetheless, those trading banks are still controlled by NZ Banking Laws even though their shareholders are a mix of domestic and foreign shareholders. Alcohol and Tobacco are both also obliged to live within the NZ Law. The TPPA protects NewZealand from the predations of single -minded companyvalues. To compare the actual behaviour of the Banking Industry to the US/Asian Tobacco and Alcohol is clear smear. The Reserve Bank sets the rules as the Central Bank of New Zealand, trading banks are subject to overview, audit and if necessary sanctions. International law defines the context of the common law interpretation of the conduct of Trading Banks. Labour continues to repeat its absurdities because they are singing from the same songsheet and not using commonsense and evidence based thinking. Why do Labour think I quoted the declaration in the TPPA about the norms of international law constraining Government policy? They still haven’t got it. No man is an island unto himself etc.

  6. Zedd

     /  January 30, 2016

    I just attended the TPPA protest in the Octagon today.. quite a good turnout, saying “TPPA – NO WAY”

    Key might still think he can ‘fool all the people, all the time’ BUT obviously not here in Dunaz ! 🙂

    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  January 30, 2016

      Being fooled and being a fool is quite different but somehow you happen to be both.

    • Thornton

       /  January 30, 2016

      Where were the missing 4.5 million?

      • insider

         /  January 30, 2016

        I counted barely 100 protesting in Wellington today. No doubt the organisers will be claiming significantly more in the paper tomorrow. They can’t blame the Sevens because no-one was there either!

        • They risk getting protest fatigue. There’s been TPPA protests for months. They had well attended meetings in four cities during the week, and then called for another protest today.

          Fatigue and futility may be taking their toll.

          • Zedd

             /  January 30, 2016

            @PG

            we’re just reminding ‘Team Key’ & their supporters.. that this IS a Democracy, not a dictatorship. There are some people who DO have a different point of view.
            btw; names like ‘communists’ & ‘the loony left’ really just show how ignorant the extreme RIGHT are.. with no opinions of their own.. ie “YES Mr. Key, ANYTHING you say Mr. Key, We NEVER disagree with you Mr, Key” etc. etc. etc. as I keep hearing :/ 😦

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  January 31, 2016

              Considering John Key isn’t anywhere near ‘extreme-right’ again shows you are all slogan no substance…….

            • Zedd

               /  January 31, 2016

              I jus sez wot eye seez……. :/

  7. Blazer, please go ahead with your continued insults to intelligent dicussions. You and your opinions have no merit and I simply ignore them.

    • Blazer

       /  January 31, 2016

      I will keep an eye on you and challenge any more lies you try and present as fact.p.s intelligent discussion ‘does not mean agreeing with what you say!

      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  January 31, 2016

        Intelligent thought means you don’t have to disagree with everything John Key does either……..

  8. Colin Gale

     /  January 31, 2016

    Hello there you have posted an image of David Clatk which I own and is subject to copyright protection. You do not have ny permission to use this image. I formally request that the image is removed forthwith from your site.