Last week in Parliament, Winston Peters started asking some hard questions of John Key regarding the TPPA.
Winston was asking these hard questions after listening to Professor Jane Kelsey point out the threat the TPPA presents for NZ at the Public Town Hall meeting at the beginning of this month and how it is closely tied into the GCSB legislation.
Winston’s concerns were driven by his national sovereignty beliefs. He was asking why NZ would sign up to an agreement that allowed American Corporations to prosecute the NZ Government if we pass laws that threaten the profit margins of those large corporations
The questions Winston asked was the following…
Rt Hon Winston Peters: OECD States the average legal cost for Governments involved in these disputes is $10 million per dispute, but frequently rises to as much as nearly $40 million, would he abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it provided foreign companies unfettered powers to sue the New Zealand Government; if not, why not?
…NZ stands to lose millions in legal costs, and the American corporate lobbyists will use that threat of legal action to bend and change any legislation they see fit.
So how did Key respond? His answer from Hansard
Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Let me reaffirm what I said earlier. Firstly, New Zealand is not going to sign up to any free-trade agreement, and that includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, unless it is in New Zealand’s interest to do that. Secondly, the major provisions within the Trans-Pacific Partnership are currently being worked through. The third thing I would say is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the member may or may not be aware, is a negotiated agreement between 12 different economies. In one of the pieces of research I saw recently, it is estimated that it could be worth between $2 billion to $4 billion a year for the New Zealand economy. So I would say that that is fairly strong evidence that it well may be in New Zealand’s interest to do the deal.
Let’s focus in on that claim…
“In one of the pieces of research I saw recently, it is estimated that it could be worth between $2 billion to $4 billion a year for the New Zealand economy”
What we need to appreciate about the TPPA is that it isn’t a Free Trade deal at all, it’s a leash designed by National Security fears. 29 chapters are in the TPPA, and only 5 are about trade, the rest are about NZ deregulating its economy for America. The GCSB and TICS Bill is part of that deregulation to allow the NSA direct access to domestic spying. America doesn’t see the TPPA as an economic document, they see it as a means of directly countering Chinese influence in the Pacific.
The reality is we get sweet FA out of this other than being a puppet to America. Key has to keep lying to NZ about the deal being worth between $2 Billion and $4 Billion to con the sleepy Hobbits.
So how much of a lie is the claim we will gain between $2 Billion and $4 Billion?
This leaked cable from our Chief Negotiator shows how much of a lie Key’s claims of billions are…
“Chief Negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Mark Sinclair emphasized that it has been a long-held objective of the Government of New Zealand to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, and there is a public perception that getting into the United States will be an “el Dorado” for New Zealand’s commercial sector. However, the reality is quite different, said Sinclair, since the United States is already quite open to New Zealand trade and investment. He underscored that New Zealand needs to manage expectations in this regard.”
Key is lying to NZ about how much the TPPA will gain for us and he is avoiding answering any direct questions about the real costs beyond total capitulation to America and loss of economic sovereignty.