National’s TPPA-11 leaves four questions unanswered – Professor Jane Kelsey

By   /   August 22, 2017  /   2 Comments

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The National government announced on the last day of Parliament that Cabinet has endorsed terms for a major new trade and investment deal – the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement minus the US, or TPPA-11. It said the TPPA text will remain basically unchanged, despite the US no longer participating. That begs multiple questions, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.

The National government announced on the last day of Parliament that Cabinet has endorsed terms for a major new trade and investment deal – the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement minus the US, or TPPA-11. It said the TPPA text will remain basically unchanged, despite the US no longer participating. That begs multiple questions, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.

First, the government’s main rationale for adopting the agreement was that it gave New Zealand a de facto free trade agreement with the US that it could not get otherwise.

Professor Kelsey points out that an unchanged TPPA would give US corporations the benefit of rules that increase the price of medicine, impose longer copyright terms, prohibit requirements to hold data in the country, restrict state-owned enterprises, and more, without the US making any concessions in return.

It was the US that drove these harsh conditions and New Zealand previously agreed only in exchange for better access to US markets. So how can the same deal still be a good deal?

Second, trade minister Todd McClay says the eleven remaining parties have agreed in a series of secret meetings to retain the original text. New Zealand is known to have taken a hard line in pushing for this. But has the minister explained to the other parties that New Zealand has an election and he cannot guarantee to deliver on this himself?

Third, these meetings have been happening for most of the year. Did the government really not know until the last day of Parliament that other parties had agreed to a “no changes to the TPPA text” position? If it did know earlier, why the delay in announcing that?

Fourth, the minister claimed in the House that the TPPA-11 will generate “tens of thousands of jobs and billions for our economy”. There is nothing to support those claims on the MFAT website, and he said no National Interest Analysis will be released until the deal is tabled in Parliament. If they have done the work, and they really do show what the minister claims, why is the government not releasing it now?

Professor Kelsey called on the government to release its modelling on the TPPA-11 immediately to allow New Zealanders, and the Opposition parties, to make informed decisions in the lead up to the election.

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2 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    yes Jane,

    This is already being worked on “vigorously” by the NZ Health Ministry now!!!!!

    As I heard on Radio NZ Yesterday a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health was attacking the unregulated “alternative medicines” as “snake oil”!!!!!!!

    She was obviously working as a mouthpiece for the powerful “big pharma” lobbyists in an attempt to block our rights to use alternative less harmful vitamins/ minerals herbs, and homeopathic medicines, that are less less costly and safer than invasive drug & prescription medicines.

    I was chemically poisoned in a workplace accident 25 yrs ago and since then medical professionals have guided me away from these invasive drug & prescription medicines cause of their chemical contents as my liver and kidneys cannot cope with them any more.

    I have been taking these alternative medicines for 25 yrs and they are effective Ms Kate Baddock Medical Association chair, here me!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201855482/doctors-sound-alarm-over-snake-oil-being-sold-in-pharmacies

    Proposed changes to pharmacists code of ethics could ‘legitimise snake oil’, say doctors.

    The changes would remove the need for complementary healthcare products such as echinacea, which are currently unregulated, to meet the ‘credible level of efficacy’ requirement.

    Medical Association chair Kate Baddock told Nine to Noon there was no evidence natural healthcare products were effective.

    So why is this Ministry of health advisory woman forcing me to potentially die taking her advise; – and take those invasive cocktail of toxic chemicals in most pharmaceutical prescription medicines????

    Professor Jane Kelsey said correctly;

    “The TPPA text will remain basically unchanged,……US corporations the benefit of rules that increase the price of medicine, impose longer copyright terms, prohibit requirements to hold data in the country, restrict state-owned enterprises, and more, without the US making any concessions in return.”

  2. Quicksilver says:

    I confess I’d turned a blind eye to this – lulled into a false sense of security by the USA pulling out of the original swindle.
    But this needs to be an election issue with some urgency!
    Where is the MSM coverage of this?