It's Our Future - TPPA News Bulletin #37

6 AUGUST 2013

IN 2 MONTHS TPPA leaders want to announce a deal  …

In less than 2 months trade ministers and political leaders, including Groser & Key, will meet for APEC in Bali. They want to announce that the TPPA will be done and dusted this year. It seems impossible. Some areas are still at deadlock. Japan has just joined. But the pressure on negotiators is enormous. Even the US trade minister said so. But they could pull it off - unless we increase the pressure stop them.

Final formal round in Brunei this month!

A new round is being held in Brunei from 22 to 30 August. This is being called the final formal round to complete the technical work. Trade ministers are in Brunei at the same time so the political deals will begin. After Brunei everything will go underground. Topics that are stuck (IP, SOEs, environment) will meet separately and secretly.

Nelson Council Adopts Auckland Resolution on TPPA

Those great campaigners in Nelson have done it again! On 18 July Nelson Council adopted a resolution almost the same as Auckland City. 6 for, 1 against, 2 abstained. Wellington Regional Council is being briefed this week. Local government elections are coming, so make TPPA an issue.

Kiwis connect for a positive future – nationwide rallies Sunday 1 Sept

Nationwide rallies on Sunday 1 Sept to expose the deep hole into which our country is sliding, including through TPPA.
 Please take banners and make the TPPA visible.

US wins again - NZ Copyright Law Review hostage to TPPA

Cabinet has reversed a plan to review our copyright laws, as mandated by our own law, until the TPPA is concluded. In other words, our copyright law is hostage to the TPPA – for which read USA.

GCSB and TPPA: Double death to democracy

Watch and read to Jane Kelsey’s talk at the Auckland rally. Meanwhile, in the Sky City deal the government insisted on being able to stop ‘unsuitable events’ - like anti-TPPA campaigners - from hiring rooms. This was even before last December’s Sky City ban that so inflamed people at the anti TPPA-rally.

Deadline of October for Agriculture

Agriculture – the big prize for Fonterra and National – has new deadlines. Bilateral talks (between 2 countries) are meant to end on 20 August, when the Trade Ministers meet in Brunei. All, including the US, are meant to put 100% of their agriculture products on the table by October. We bet the US won’t, but how would we know?

Former US Trade Rep dismayed about TPPA secrecy

Robert Zoellick – the US trade minister who made public the text ion the Free Trade Area of the Americas, says he doesn’t understand why they are being so secretive about the TPPA.

GM – the silent issue in TPPA

NZ negotiators keep saying there’s nothing about GM in the TPPA. That’s not what the US is saying.  Time for our government to tell the truth and release the text so we can see for ourselves.

Risks of investor-state cases are everywhere

Almost every week there is a new example of how foreign investors might sue the NZ government. The secret Sky City heads of agreement, Labour’s ban on foreign non-resident from buying existing houses, accusations of confiscation in a controversy over prime Christchurch mall land.

Medicines Sans Frontiers open letter to TPPA governments

The open letter from MSF warned the TPPA threatens to restrict access to affordable medicines for millions of people, especially in low- and middle-income countries.  See also Marilyn Head from NZNO on TPPA: the Threat to NZ Public Healthcare

Tobacco news

The US seems to be holding off from tabling its long-proposed exception on tobacco – which was only ever going to suit a narrow US concern anyway. Meanwhile the UK appears to have backed off plain packaging because of threats of ‘trade and investment’ disputes, and Philip Morris has won through to its next stage in its investment dispute against Uruguay.

Australian election important for standoff on investor disputes

The Australian election is on 7 September. The ALP has maintained its policy to oppose investors’ rights to sue under the TPPA. Although that’s only for Australia, it shows the NZ government it can be done. The Liberals say they will decide case-by-case. They opposed ISDS in the Australia US FTA but there is no guarantee for TPPA.

Malaysian government ‘undecided’ about TPPA

It could just be to pacify the mounting dissent and protest but Malaysia’s Trade Minister said if it is damaging to national sovereignty and the national interest they won’t sign it.

Media and resources

On Laidlaw (at 20 minutes in), Helen Clark expressed concern that the TPPA would see pressure on Pharmac’s ability to buy life-saving medicines at an affordable price.
Gordon Campbell on the latest risk to national sovereignty posed by free trade 
TPP: The Terrible Plutocratic Plan, by David Swanson (US)
Pig industry's fight to stop another disease hitting NZ shows the dangers of relaxing controls for free trade
Outsourcing Trade Negotiations: the Ultimate Privatisation, Jane Kelsey on NZ Taiwan FTA
Japanese Drug Industry Stance on TPP
How Congress may have already Tied Obama’s hands in trade negotiations
Joseph Stiglitz: How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality
Buy Jane Kelsey’s e-book Hidden Agendas (now in PDF) Only $5! If you have problems opening the e-book please email bwbooks and they will help!
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