The TPP is a matter of when and not if, Bruce Wills says. 'The more you engage it makes the world a smaller and safer place'

The TPP is a matter of when and not if, Bruce Wills says. 'The more you engage it makes the world a smaller and safer place'
WTO Public Forum 2013

Content supplied by Federated Farmers

Having returned from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Federated Farmers believes the logic for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is so strong and its advantages so apparent, that the absence of President Obama from negotiations will not unduly dent its progress.

“The talk at the WTO in Geneva was when the TPP will happen and not if,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, who attended the WTO’s 2013 Public Forum where he co-presented the World Farmers Organisation’s new trade policy.

“Naturally, there was much talk about the United States Government shutdown and what that may mean if a default does take place in just nine-day’s time. 

“I sense the Obama Administration is frustrated that domestic political brinkmanship means the President had to stay in Washington.  The focus of his administration is building the U.S. economy by exports and that’s the focus of both Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and TPP negotiations.  I must say that U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, is a handy substitute.

“We take great heart that Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, told Japanese media before he left for Indonesia that he wanted a favourable year-end conclusion to negotiations.

“I heard some comments made by anti-TPP groups that President Obama’s absence would torpedo the TPP.  I find it hard to reconcile that with the officials and people I met.  The only stumbling block would be a global economic crisis precipitated by a U.S government default.

“Having co-presented the World Farmers Organisation’s new trade policy at the WTO, there is a sense that global agriculture has to change to meet our word’s single biggest challenge; sustainably feeding billions more humans.

“In this respect the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries agri-tech study, which I got World Farmers Organisation endorsement for, is a bit of a breakthrough. 

“By demystifying our farm system we make it easier for farmers around the world to see us as an ally and not a threat.  That’s the thing about trade.  The more you engage it makes the world a smaller and safer place. 

“New Zealand may be a small country population wise but we are a farming power and seen as a global leader.  We are encouraged that agriculture is being used as part of our wider diplomatic efforts and we are keen to help further that.

“It is a huge coup for New Zealand that the Prime Minister, John Key, replaced President Obama as chair for the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks,” Mr Wills concluded.

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22 Comments

Gee, do you know what is in the TPP? How about you share it with the rest of us, especially those of us who are suspicious of it, so that our concerns will be allayed.
Not holding my breath

i'm not sure there's is any way to allay your concerns.  even united states congressmen and senators are not getting a chance to see what is in it.
this from lori wallach of global trade watch...
“One of the most important things to understand is it’s not really mainly about trade. I guess the way to think about it is as a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations.”
“For instance, there are the same investor privileges that promote job offshoring to lower-wage countries. There is a ban on Buy Local procurement, so that corporations have a right to do sourcing, basically taking our tax dollars, and instead of investing them in our local economy, sending them offshore. There are new rights to, for instance, have freedom to enter other countries and take natural resources, a right for mining, a right for oil, gas, without approval.”
“And then there’s a whole set of very worrisome issues relating to Internet freedom. Through sort of the backdoor of the copyright chapter of TPP is a whole chunk of SOPA, the Stop Online Privacy Act, that activism around the country successfully derailed a year ago. Think about all the things that would be really hard to get into effect as a corporation in public, a lot of them rejected here and in the other 11 countries, and that is what’s bundled in to the TPP. And every country would be required to change its laws domestically to meet these rules. The binding provision is, each country shall ensure the conformity of domestic laws, regulations and procedures.

here's the link for that and more. not a big read at all...
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdigger_of_the_week_lori_wallach...

There is an enormous outcry against this agreement, why is it being ignored?

Can Mr Willis comment or is it all a big secret?

Raegun, he does know, he told us, see above when he says
"The focus of his administration is building the U.S. economy by exports and that’s the focus of both Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and TPP negotiations"
So you see, as he says, is all about "Building the US economy" nothing about building the NZ economy.
Yes, all about looking after the corporate giant.
 

I wonder how tenable the Reserve Bank's Core Funding Ratio, will be under the TPP, when early drafts contain provisions regarding freedom of capital flows.
 
"These concerns have implications well beyond the WTO, as WTO language becomes the foundation for numerous regional and bilateral trade and investment treaties that go even deeper than the WTO. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) under negotiation between the US and numerous Pacific Rim nations, as currently proposed, would mandate that all forms of cross-border finance be allowed to flow “freely and without delay.”
The draft treaty (like most US treaties) has language similar to the WTO’s prudential carve-out but makes the circumstances under which it can be evoked even more limiting—and there is no balance of payment safeguard whatsoever (Anderson, 2011). Moreover, the TPP would allow private investors to directly file claims against governments that regulate them, as opposed to a WTO-like system where nation states (i.e., the regulators) decide whether claims are brought. Therefore, under investor-state dispute settlement those sectors that may bear the cost have the power to externalise the costs of financial instability to the broader public while profiting from awards in private tribunals."
 
http://www.iisd.org/itn/2013/01/14/the-imfs-new-transfers-policy-and-the-trading-system/

Anyone who believes that the Japanese and the Americans will cease subsidising their farmers , that they will stop their pork-barrel politics , just because they have signed a piece of paper with us , is seriously deluded ...

I agree Gummy, they're just becoming involved in order to further skew international trade rules in their favour. It'll be their representatives sitting on the arbitration panels, so good luck to small fry like New Zealand who seek recourse for infringment by the Americans or Japanese. 

Anarkist
 Have you read' Ecomonists and the powerful', Ive just started.
http://www.amazon.com/Economists-Powerful-Convenient-Distorted-Economics/dp/0857284592/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381209424&sr=1-1&keywords=economists+and+the+powerful
 
 this book makes one simple point: economists are the sluts of the social sciences, in the pay of the wealthy, and they have prostituted their profession in the most indecent obscene manner possible. Others have made similar points, what we really have here are two forms of crime -- petty crime -- economists kneeling for hand-outs -- and master crime -- financiers looting entire national economies just because they can -- because government has no integrity, the media (once capable of investigative journalism) has no integrity, and the academy (economists and everyone else) has no integrity.

There are some excellent reviews of the book outside Amazon, I am stunned to not see any here.

Andrewj,
 
Economics has been a tool used by the rich to protect their social position since at least the 1860s and practicing economists of the time such as Nassau Senior and Alfred Marshall have frankly admitted this. 
 
Wealthy people gained a lot from Keynesian economics of the post Depression too. The New Deal was essentially an effort by large corporate leaders to prevent damaging competition and maintain corporate profitability. Economic fashion changes with shifts in relative power between different economic sectors. As the influence and profitability of large scale mass production industries who gained so much from the Fordist/Keynesian economic regime declined, the fortunes of the "knowledge economy" and FIRE sectors rose in tandem with the Neoclassical  school of economics who provided them with the intellectual cachet required to rationalize the severe restructuring of the U.S. economy and society in general which favored their dominance. 

because government has no integrity, the media (once capable of investigative journalism) has no integrity, and the academy (economists and everyone else) has no integrity.
 
One might suggest that whilst a deficiency in integrity may be *enabling* financiers they can hardly be held as causing that lack.

Actually the TPP could disrupt trade. 
This is from Jan 2012 from the Jakarta Post.
Indonesia is not part of TPP. 
 

America’s threat to Trans-Pacific trade

 

As if undermining the World Trade Organization’s Doha round of global free-trade talks was not bad enough (the last ministerial meeting in Geneva produced barely a squeak), the United States has compounded its folly by actively promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). 

 

The TPP is a testament to the ability of US industrial lobbies, Congress, and presidents to obfuscate public policy. It is widely understood today that free-trade agreements (FTAs), whether bilateral or plurilateral (among more than two countries but fewer than all) are built on discrimination. That is why economists typically call them preferential-trade agreements (PTAs). And that is why the US government’s public relations (PR) machine calls what is in fact a discriminatory plurilateral FTA, a “partnership” invoking a false aura of cooperation and cosmopolitanism.

 

From the outset, the TPP’s supposed openness has been wholly misleading. Towards this end, the TPP was negotiated with the weaker countries like Vietnam, Singapore, and New Zealand, which were easily bamboozled into accepting such conditions. Only then were bigger countries like Japan offered membership on a “take it or leave it” basis.

 

The result of US efforts in South America, therefore, has been to fragment the region into two blocs, and the same is likely to happen in Asia. Ever since the US realized that it had chosen the wrong region to be regional with, it has been trying to win a seat at the Asian table.

 

America’s design for Asian trade is inspired by the goal of containing China, and the TPP template effectively excludes it, owing to the non-trade-related conditions imposed by US lobbies. 

The only way that a Chinese merger with the TPP could gain credibility would be to make all non-trade-related provisions optional. Of course, the US lobbies would have none of it.

 

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/01/05/america-s-threat-trans-pacific-trade.html
 
 
Indonesia wants an integrated region. It does not want competing trading blocs in Asia 
http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/06/10/apec-told-work-integrated-region.html
 
 
 

The free-trade charade and public interests by Joseph E. Stiglitz
The Doha Round was torpedoed by the United States’ refusal to eliminate agricultural subsidies
Given this recent history, it now seems clear that the negotiations to create a free-trade area between the US and Europe, and another between the US and much of the Pacific (except for China), are not about establishing a true free-trade system. Instead, the goal is a managed trade regime — managed, that is, to serve the special interests that have long dominated trade policy in the West.
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/07/06/insight-the-free-trade-charade-and-public-interests.html

Yet another vested interest talking up the advantage to them and not looking at how it will effect NZ overall.
We'll get screwed by the US....both on what you think you were going to get, and wont and see the other sectors you sold out done over, as expected.
The crazy thing is ppl will need our food, we dont need to sell out other businesses for access to a ready market.
regards
 
 

So called free trade is easily manipulated by powerful countries as has been seen with the Australian apple fiasco or recently with the Chinese finding a rot in an apple and the resultant halting of nz apple exports.  Admittedly this was by our own MPI but because they realized this was the safest way to proceed when dealing with an insincere trading partner. The TPP is being negotiated in secret because the United States is also insincere in its objectives for the TPP which is all about removing laws that hinder the open slather attack that will come from their financial pharmaceutical and entertainment (copyright) industries on the hapless other partners to this  deal. Sometimes an open and honest tarrif to protect ones own producers is a better option

Heres a little insight into whats happening at the Secret Court of Global  Corporations or  SCGC Trade Deals Must Allow for Regulating Finance

Lori Wallach, lawyer & founder of Global Trade Watch, has this to say about TPP:

“One of the most important things to understand is it’s not really mainly about trade. I guess the way to think about it is as a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations.”

 

The secrecy this agreement is being negotiated under is suspicious to start with. When Monsanto has access to the terms, but we do not, I'd say we have major reason to be concerned.

Why does not  a high profile journalist like Bernard or a not yet bought Member of Parliament 
take on this problem in the interest of our country and of our own people and is starting to ask
questions, questions, questions......
 

Labour's got no leg to stand on when it comes to the TPP, because their Free Trade Agreement with China which Phil Goff sighned on our behalf contains many of the same provsions as the TPP is rumoured to have.
 
"Trade law reality has been a steep learning curve for New Zealand. During the Lockwood Smith/ Tim Groser era of trade negotiations during the 1990s, we were the free love hippies of global trade. We rarely sought protection, and virtually gave our bargaining positions away, in the apparent belief that if we voluntarily lived the free trade life ( no tariffs, maan) New Zealand would become an inspiration for all of our uptight trading rivals. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Thankfully, our attitudes have since hardened somewhat. In the wording of the China FTA, New Zealand has tried to install protections for our ability to make our own rules and to pass our own laws and regulations in future, without inviting foreign investors to launch compensation claims when we do so. Porterfield’s analysis suggests that the attempt has largely failed, and we are stuck with the investment rules regime contained within the China/NZ FTA."
 
http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2008/04/28/us-trade-expert-finds-fishhooks-in-chinanz-trade-deal/

This article was Oct 8. I see in the Herald of the same day Key "has called on business leaders to speak up more strongly for it".
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1113...
People who aren't thrilled about the TPP can at least discuss the leaked contents while the proponents have to pretend it is still secret. For example see the summary of the recent TPP round that got published over in Public Address
http://publicaddress.net/speaker/tpp-this-is-a-fight-worth-joining/