The latest on resisting the TPPA


The rebranded TPPA-11 is a high stakes gamble for Labour (I refuse to call it the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership – there is nothing progressive about it!).

Jacinda Ardern admitted as much when she recorded a propaganda video, hailing the changes she says Labour won, while she was still en route back from Vietnam. She and David Parker know their claims won’t stand up to scrutiny. So they did what the Nats did after the old TPPA was agreed and frantically spun their line to a largely gullible media (with a few exceptions) and a support base who desperately want to believe.

What happens now? We are told there are four country-specific issues the eleven have yet to reach consensus on. These involve changes to schedules for Malaysia on State-owned enterprises, Brunei on investment for coal, and Vietnam on trade sanctions for certain products. These are portrayed as solvable – presumably because the countries have limited bargaining power. The fourth, a ‘cultural exception’ sought by Canada, is seen as more problematic. The Trudeau government has gone back home to consult on a number of issues, and they are not only about culture.

The TPPA-11 ministers are expected to meet when they are all in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 10-13 December for the WTO ministerial conference.

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The worst-case scenario is being pushed by Japan, which is leading the charge to get the deal signed and into force. The Abe government wants to host the signing in February 2018 or in early Spring (March/April). Mexico and Malaysia have elections mid-2018 and Japan fears that new governments might walk away.

Canada will doubtless be given some kind of ultimatum in Argentina. But they have made it clear that domestic political priorities have to be addressed. Moreover, what Canada (and Mexico) accept in the TPPA-11 will flow over to the Nafta renegotiation with Trump. Friends in US say Nafta’s likely to come to a head in March or April, so there may not be anything agreed in TPPA-11 before then, if at all.

Would the others really kick Canada out? It’s the second largest remaining country in the TPPA-11 after Japan. Despite the tough talk, it would look really bad to lose another big player, maybe two if Mexico went too. The remaining 10 might bluster that this allows them to bring others in, such as South Korea, Philippines, Colombia. But most of them have FTAs with those countries anyway.

If Canada becomes a martyr, governments like ours, would be really exposed. The opposition in Australia could use Canada as a precedent. The Australian Labor Party, Greens and the Nick Xenaphon team are still saying they won’t support it through the Senate.

From our end, the time line is therefore very uncertain. It could happen very quickly or drag on interminably. We have no way to predict. So we can’t be complacent. The longer it stays off the political radar without people challenging the reality that it’s the old deal in drag, the easier it will be for the government spin machine to win by default if it is suddenly finalised.

David Parker has promised to hold consultations after the TPPA-11 has been agreed and before it is signed. That could be at very short notice and in a very short window, unless people intensify the pressure on the government to follow Canada’s lead and go back to the table.

I know that people need more accurate information and analysis if they are to hold the feet of both Labour and New Zealand First to the fire. I have been working on that, starting by debunking what the government said about investment and ISDS. You can read a blog about that later in the week.



  1. Thanks Jane – Ready for action.
    Shall email said parties – expressing my disappointment on continuing with this corporate grab agreement. ( I have already so in the past, and shall again).
    If a protest is happening – I shall be there again.
    Any other suggestions Jane – for most impact on MPs?

  2. Sweden is finished. SEK is a proper structural short. Society is on the brink of collapse and when it goes over the capital flight will be horrific. If your Wealth is denominated in SEK just GET THE FUCK OUT ASAP. Next 3 years will be ugly!

    Theres a alot of insecurity in sweden due to constant talking of a “housing bubble” in MSM and that there beloved politicians are considering a major structural change in the taxation system to try and cap it…

    On our side Māori television invest $20mil for a 12 year lease in new headquarters in South Auckland because they know (If some one like me who’s half as smart as Paora knows, he must know as well) BlahblahTPPA is bad for South Auckland. The Remainer Inversion Narrative is 100% transparent when you simply follow the money. Follow the Money and you will always get to the truth.

  3. Wonderful work ‘Dame’ Prof’ Jane;

    You are the most worthy of anyone to recieve a Knight Hood and we need to make sure the movement nominate you for your tireless waork for our wellbeing as a nation.

    This was a very informative article thankyou Jane we appreciate you.

  4. “consultancy” yeah, right.

    Them spinning bits of the document that they like. That’s it, ask questions, but zero real consultancy

  5. “I know that people need more accurate information and analysis if they are to hold the feet of both Labour and New Zealand First to the fire. I have been working on that, starting by debunking what the government said about investment and ISDS. You can read a blog about that later in the week.”

    I’m really looking forward to that, thanks for all your hard work!

  6. It’s time to protect society not throw them to the wolves with TPPA deals that protect the powerful and make the vulnerable pay.

    Clearly trade deals are not working with the rise in inequality and environmental degradation and all the bio insecurity.

    Wages, jobs and conditions for poor, working and middle class insecure and declining in real terms. The next generation is broke and more and more money and assets being owned by a small percentage of individuals.

    NZ used to be a banana republic, our exports of profits are showing we still are.

  7. Parker has already stated that public consultation is very unlikely to prevent them from signing it. This is an utter sellout by Labour.

  8. Dr Kelsey is smack on the old nail head with her always, thoughtful and qualified analysis of TPPA, TPP, TPP-11, CPTTP, or whatever the hell they are going to call the deal next week.

    I am thinking of organising a sweepstake, asking for your guesses on what name they will try to give it, in simplistic effort to sanitise something ugly, after the next TPPA leaders meeting. There is bound to be one.

    I am beginning to think these meetings are just about holiday jaunts and expensive dinners for otherwise useless government ministers and officials, for all the worth that these talks produce. I mean, postponing a few clauses until they can be slipped in under the radar and changing the name of the deal, doesn’t seem to be much of a result for the peoples’ of these countries who rely on their representatives to act for them, which said representatives clearly do not. Oh no, they act for a neoliberal globalist agenda and the corporations, who seek to make those people economic slaves to that globalist elite.

    Meanwhile, back here in lil ol NZ, I see labour pulling all the same tricks out of the propaganda bag National used. And Labours dull minded support base, in a state of perpetual euphoric denial, say oh, but Labour are all butterflies, pretty rainbows and light, Jacinda wears lacy things and angels wings, they would never screw us. HAH! how bloody moronic.

    I admire loyalty but blind loyalty is the purview of village bloody idiots. There seems ample evidence to back this thought, given the way Kiwis vote, for parties who represent more than three decades of failure, and then said Kiwis want to give them a second and third go. I really do wonder sometimes what our national IQ average is.

    Robbie Kaiviti.
    New Zealand People’s Mandate Party.

  9. The agreement talks of small and medium enterprises, and does that include the sole trader growing and selling heirloom seeds for example? They are overall preserving wider genetic potential than larger firms. Can’t see reference to a Commerce Commission enforcing contestability?
    Is that an issue that is not solved and which Van Gelis says the government will have to deal with?

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