Flogging a dead TPPA?

On his trip to new York John Key has been promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Is the TPPA a dead horse?

Today’s Herald editorial still thinks the TPPA is worthwhile – Key plays a strong geopolitical card on the TPP

John Key stated it as plainly as he dared in New York yesterday: failure to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would be a “massive lost opportunity” for the United States, he said, “because in the end is that vacuum isn’t filled by the United States, it will be filled by somebody else”.

He could have gone further and suggested the “somebody else” could be China. Talks involving China, India, Japan, South Korea, the Asean members and Australia and New Zealand are under way on a project called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Key had no need to spell out the implications to his New York audience, the Council for Foreign Relations, but his real targets are in Washington. Some of them – but not all – are seeking re-election for Senate and House seats. Some will be defeated at the elections on November 8, but all of them retain their seats until the next Congress is sworn in late in January. That “lame duck” period is a chance for legislators to do what is right, though it may not be popular.

Americans are well accustomed to their representatives doing this and they do not protest vehemently enough for the practice to become politically untenable. It almost seems to have tacit approval. The American public and the incoming Congress appear to accept that contentious things need to be done when the Constitution provides the opportunity.

Both presidential candidates say they want to renegotiate the TPP. Hillary Clinton will know, if Donald Trump does not, how long it took to get the TPP to the point of agreement and how hard it was. It would do the partners no harm to indicate to American voters that a renegotiation cannot be taken for granted.

The TPP has not come from nothing. It grew out of the World Trade Organisation’s stalled Doha round, which itself resulted from collapse of communism and almost universal realisation that competitive markets are the source of prosperity. If the US turns inward and protectionist under its next President, trading countries will look elsewhere for global progress.

Is Key wistfully whistling in the Washington wind?

What he or the Herald say will hardly sway the  USA.

Is the TPPA a lame duck or will the lame duck period givbe it another gasp of breath?

Previous Post

7 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  September 21, 2016

    ‘Is the TPPA a dead horse?

    ‘Is the TPPA a lame duck ‘

    iI prefer negotiator extraordinaire,Grosers descriptor……’dead rat’!

    • Crikey Blazer … its 4.35pm and not a rabid Righty in sight!!! No-one screaming “Looney Leftie!” … What’s going on!??? That Deutsche Bank article of bjmarsh1’s “not for the faint hearted” must have really put the wind up the faint hearted, eh?

      Competitive markets are not “the” [only] source of prosperity, as we have found out in the absence of significant “trickle down”, they are the source of greater prosperity for some and lesser prosperity for others; the source of greater income and wealth inequality …

      This requires ‘social responsibility’ adjustment, that’s all, which is not necessarily best described as “inward and protectionist”. Inward and protectionist compared to what? Open slather ‘free market’ globalisation? Laissez Faire? Anarcho-Capitalism? The Rule of the Trade Agreements? Corporatocracy?

      Analogous to this discussion, TPPA is a Kaimanawa Horse … wild and feral … dangerous to the environment … living in secrecy, isolated from the equine world … and easily mistaken for a Trojan Horse … or perhaps really a Trojan Horse?

      “This [EU ban on GM seeds] would raise an immediate dispute under the protocol of TTIP … such a position will be re-scrutinized under the terms of these new trade agreements. US hormone-enriched beef and chlorine-washed chickens are another example of products currently blocked by the EU, and for good reason.” – ibid, ‘Three Ugly Sisters’ article

      “In the end it’s just another type of war. Who needs it? The planet is already saturated with irrational violence.”

      – Julian Rose

  2. John Schmidt

     /  September 21, 2016

    What would be interesting if the US withdraw and China took its place does the opposition to TPPA wilt which makes the opposition purely an anti US sentiment.

    • I think that’s a good question John. Given what I think is the future of progressive economics – a globalisation where borders matter – I would certainly oppose it for the same ‘corporatocracy’ reasons.

  3. It will get passed. Just need the hysteria of picking which bozzo to be POTUS and the lame duck congress will slide it through as per B Obamas wishes….

    Retreating to “inward and protectionist” is not the place to go – that is the 1930’s and I don’t think anyone apart from really rabid anti trade zealots want that. So maybe the Greens because then Gaia would be less stressed and Sue Kelsey who can shriek at things form her tenured, well paid Ivory tower adjacent to Princess Street

    Free Trade has lift vast numbers out of poverty over the last 100 years…. TPP will bed in a decline i tariffs and no tariff barriers, and while I am not a fan of the trade mark and copyright parts overall it will benefit NZ quite nicely.

    Bring the signing on

    • Blazer

       /  September 21, 2016

      Try reading the agreement instead of the corporate propaganda.
      .Dave.