Little: “we won’t pull out” of TPPA

Andrew Little has caused further consternation and frustration on the left by restating that Labour won’t pull out of the TPPA, despite having sort of having said they oppose it.

Yesterday on RadioLive: Labour won’t pull out of the TPP – Little.

Mark Sainsbury: The thing that sparked all this off of course, the TPPA. Can I just get something straight from you, you’re opposed to us signing it. Does that mean if you become Prime Minister, Labour was in power, you would either pull out of the treaty as it exists, or would refuse to ratify it?

Andrew Little: Ah no, well hold on, we signed it long ago, it was a clerical exercise, it didn’t create the agreement, the agreement was already created.

Created is odd terminology. It wasn’t signed long ago, it was signed by the Trade Minister’s from all twelve participating countries in Auckland the day before.

Andrew Little:  Secondly ratification will happen over the next two years. Our Government has the numbers to do the New Zealand ratification regardless.

Mark Sainsbury: In two years time you could be Prime Minister Andrew Little.

Andrew Little: And so the question then is would we pull out of it, if it’s ratified, all the countries have ratified it would we pull out of it?

We won’t, and the reason why I am making the objection that I am making and the Labour Party is making, and indeed others are about provisions in it that cut across our sovereignty, is that I want to go back and say right there’s things in here that are wrong.

Things in here that we just shouldn’t have, and we will kick up bobsy-die about and put pressure back the way and that’s why New Zealanders are expressing a view about it it’s so important…

Mark Sainsbury: Hang on, it sounds like you’re trying to have a bob each way on this Andrew Little, on one hand you’re saying this is wrong, there’s all sorts of problems with it and things it does cover and flaws in the system, you’re against it. Will you vote against it in the House?

Andrew Little: Yeah we’ve already said um, if there’s, the legi, I mean, let’s go, we don’t get to vote on the TPPA. That’s done and dusted. There’s then legislation that covers some aspects of it that has to come to the House.

Anything in the legislation that cuts across sovereign rights we will oppose. Things that are, that support genuine free trade because we are a free trade party, we will support.

The train has left the station. So what we’re talking about now is how do we protect and preserve New Zealand’s interests under the TPP and that’s what we’re talking about.

Mark Sainsbury: But hang on, you can’t be a lion in opposition, a lamb in Government can you? I mean and it sounds like, while we’re in opposition this is dreadful, this Government sold us out, but if we’re in power we’d do the same thing.

Andrew Little: The Government sold us out on those parts of the TPPA that cut across sovereign rights in New Zealand, the rights for us to make our laws without undue influence and pressure from other interests. That’s what we’re talking about.

Yes there are other aspects that will help some exporters. There’s, you know, we’ve never shied away from that, um but lets be very clear.

The train left the station last October when Tim Groser signed off the agreement in Atlanta with the other Ministers, and what we’re dealing with no is what do we do to get ourselves in ship shape so that when Labour is next in Government and we’re dealing with other countries and big corporates from overseas breathing down our neck they won’t be surprised when we turn around and say ah-ah, this isn’t what New Zealanders want, we’ve opposed this, we’re opposed to it in principle and we’re going to fight against it and we’re going to protect New Zealand’s rights, but we’re not going to cut across um, they um you know our free trade credentials.

Mark Sainsbury: So you’re opposed to it in principle but not in practice.

Andrew Little:  Well if you want to break it down to um, if you’re desperate to have that there’s only one one you know ah one answer to this it’s either completely wrong or completely right. A six thousand agreement isn’t going to be like that.

Um and a free trade a free trade agreement that has some aspects of free trade but then has other things that have absolutely nothing to do with free trade but cut across New Zealand’s rights, I mean it doesn’t break down that simply.

So what I am talking about and what Labour is talking about is doing those things that are going to allow us to protect and preserve ourselves against the worst aspect of the TPPA that are nothing to do with free trade.

Mark Sainsbury:  So you want to fix it, but what I’m just saying, what you’re telling us today here is despite your public opposition to it right now, if Labour was in power, you are Prime Minister, you would not pull New Zealand out of that agreement.

Andrew Little:  Pulling out would would be um is way more difficult than it is to kind of roll off the tongue and lets pull out.

So no, we won’t pull out, but what we will do is fight tooth and nail to stop those things that are undermining New Zealanders’ democratic rights. Cause we have too. Cause we stood for that for decades and we’ll continue to do that.

That’s quite a muddled interview with only vague assurances of protecting rights but stating Labour won’t pull out of the TPPA.

Trying to sound tough while conceding there’s not actually much if anything Labour would actually do.

The clearest thing he said was ‘um’.

Add to this a couple of Little’s responses to a Q & A at Stuff on Thursday:

In what situations do you see New Zealand utilizing the exit clause?

Should the agreement be ratified over the next two years, any question of leaving the TPPA would be a huge call. It is not something that I am contemplating. That’s why I’ve been saying I want the next Labour government to be in a position with a mandate from New Zealanders to re-address the things that cut across our citizens’ rights.

That says much the same thing.

Do you believe the TPP will be amended by the US and become even more draconian for NZ to push it through congress?

Talking to US administration officials and politicians at the end of last year, it was made clear to me that there is no more negotiation, and that the deal is as it is now. Under the US fast track law, there is no scope for individual representatives and senators to pull apart specific clauses and chapters. But in reality, with American politics who would know?

So while Little claims a Labour led government would try and negotiate changes he says here “there is no more negotiation”.

Um.

Labour have backed themselves into a corner on the TPPA and all Little can do is squirm.

 

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37 Comments

  1. John Schmidt

     /  6th February 2016

    Every free trade agreement has an exit clause. If the agreement is not working for us we can bail. We are also free to be a bad participant and ignore the bits that the government of the day does not agree with as was suggested during the Labour indecision period.
    We are not being invaded, we don’t have corporate CEO’s taking over Parliament and seizing total control of NZ as implied by Kelsey. So the notion that we some how are losing soverignity is nonsense, any future government can do what they like with any trade agreement if they think it’s in the best interests of NZ. If those who have views that are anti free trade and prefer that world trade should be ruled by tariffs are free to convince enough NZ’rs to vote accordingly.

    Reply
  2. Iceberg

     /  6th February 2016

    When this comes up for debate in the House, Little will be slaughtered.

    Reply
  3. Mike C

     /  6th February 2016

    Sainsbury kept repeatedly trying so hard in his journalistic capacity to get Andrew Little to oppose the TPPA … but he didn’t.

    He does not appear to have the drive and ambition to succeed in the role of Leader of the Opposition.

    Little hasn’t got a clue as to how to be an Opposition Leader.

    Sad … but True.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  6th February 2016

      Ironic then that he said Key ‘lacked leadership’………..if anybody finds a spine please post back to A. Little, Labour list MP, Parliament.

      Reply
  4. artcroft

     /  6th February 2016

    I listen to this interview and couldn’t understand a single point he was trying to make. Is the PM right or wrong to go to Waitangi? Little seemed to say yes and no. Is the TPPA worth it or not? Little couldn’t articulate a clear position. It’s worse than Shearer. The Labour caucus must be a complete mess as Little sounds like a man who knows if he says the wrong thing the herd will stampede in every direction.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  6th February 2016

      Anyone can have an off day, but really, he seems to be unable to make up his mind on anything. I wish (seriously) that someone would explain HOW the free trade will destroy our sovereignty.

      I’d have thought that Labour would be ANTI free trade and want to keep/make jobs in NZ-turn the clock back. Now he says that they’re all for it. He really does seem to be having a bob each way. I wonder if he realises that people have become used to cheap televisions, computers, washing machines, fridges….and they won’t want to go back to paying high prices for them.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  6th February 2016

        The appliances you mention come from China and Sth Korea.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  7th February 2016

          That’s what I meant; freer trade means that we can have those things at lower prices (yes, I know that there are various reasons for them being cheaper now, not just the lower labour costs over there). But if they were made here, they’d cost far more. I can’t be bothered to look up what appliances used to cost, but it was a vast amount more than they do now. Free trade won’t be going away.

          .

          Reply
  5. David

     /  6th February 2016

    Sainsbury is just woeful, imagine if Plunkett was still on Little would have been hung drawn and quartered for the complete hypocrite that he is. He has been having a bob each way for 12 months and the only ones that will hold his feet to the fire will be the bonkers far left who voted for him and supported him and when they turn because they have been taken advantage f the blow back will be biblical

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  6th February 2016

      Little is terrible when thinking on his feet – he will get slaughtered in any public debate with Key during the election campaign even if he is able to garner some more support before then.

      Reply
      • Mike C

         /  6th February 2016

        @PantsDown

        Yeap 🙂

        Reply
      • Mike C

         /  6th February 2016

        @Pants

        Paula will be fine with me as the National Party’s Leader and possible Prime Minister in 4 or 5 years … after she has spent enough time in the trenches … and John Key has retired from New Zealand politics 🙂

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  6th February 2016

          I don’t think she has the ability to grab the essential centre-vote, I also don’t think she has force of personality to stop any infighting/factions that would undoubtedly occur within National if she was made leader.

          Reply
          • Timoti.

             /  6th February 2016

            Don’t be so sure about that. This lady isn’t scared of a scrap. If National doesn’t handle the departure of Key with finesse they may find themselves in Labours situation. I think too many members of National have forgotten Key is National.
            Its interesting to note Key has refused to say if he will do a full term should he be re-elected. Standing down mid term would force a new leader onto the public
            and bypass much angst and infighting. Although I don’t know if that is constitutionally possible. Yeah, I will go with Paula. She ticks too many boxes: Maori, woman, fighter, Westy(?) youth, mother and if she loses some weight, not a bad looker. Against: women hate her, Benies hate her. That said, PDB, can you name at present a National Party member whom you think would be better leadership material?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  6th February 2016

              dont set the bar too high…Uncle…’if she loses some weight, not a bad looker.’…priceless!

            • kittycatkin

               /  6th February 2016

              How can you say that women hate her ? That’s a sweeping generalisation. Her looks and weight are irrelevant to her ability.

            • Blazer

               /  6th February 2016

              totally agree…ability wise..shes a …lightweight!

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  6th February 2016

              Whilst Collins is in National Bennett would be in for a rough ride if made leader of the party. I think both Labour & National have very few choices of a decent leader within their current ranks. I think the days of a leader like Key pulling close to 50% of the vote won’t be repeated for a long time and that situation will favour the left as they have more partnering options to form government.

            • kittycatkin

               /  7th February 2016

              I said irrelevant to, not in an indirect ratio to. I think that anyone who thinks that she’s silly is grossly underestimating her.

        • Blazer

           /  6th February 2016

          ‘Gordon’ as PM….best joke so far this year!

          Reply
    • Timoti.

       /  6th February 2016

      Sainsbury is a nice guy, and that’s the problem. He has no killer instinct. You are right, Plunket would have stomped Little. Goff and Shearer have already had death threats. I wonder if a crazed Lefty is about to issue ANDY with something similar? Maybe Labour should do the unthinkable and roll Little now. The writings already on the wall regarding Lab ours chance at the next election, and it spells LOSE. Robertson v Key would add some excitement….er, I think.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  6th February 2016

        Robertson would be a disaster and not supported by the unions, Adern too green. National without Key are only marginally better off but still not in great shape.

        Could be Hobson’s choice come the 2020 election.

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  6th February 2016

          @Pants

          Paula will be fine with me as the National Party’s Leader and possible Prime Minister in 4 or 5 years … after she has spent enough time in the trenches … and John Key has retired from New Zealand politics 🙂

          Reply
  6. kittycatkin

     /  6th February 2016

    (opens and shuts mouth like a goldfish, trying to find something to say about this)

    Reply
    • Timoti.

       /  6th February 2016

      Relax, Kittycat. Let the force guide you.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  6th February 2016

        All of these comments weren’t here then, I had just read Andrew Little’s extraordinary remarks and was trying to make sense of it. Even allowing for the fact that transcripts of conversations can sound odd, this one sounded bizarre,

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  6th February 2016

          I don’t like him, but I don’t think that he’s an idiot-but he sounded like one in that interview.

          Reply
  7. artcroft

     /  6th February 2016

    I just hope the left keep on banging away about the TPPA, just so we can all hear Little’s inept attempts to explain himself. Ph Andrew on 0800 NOIDEA.

    Reply

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