Thursday , July 19 2018
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The Kelsey File: NZ on ‘hiding to nothing’ with TPP

Jane Kelsey is damning ‘unprecedented procedural machinations and an unholy alliance with the Republicans’  as enabling Barack Obama a super-majority to advance fast track authority in the US Senate by a single vote.  

The University of Auckland law professor reckons “the damage to relations between the President and his core Democrat constituency may be irrecoverable, making the content of any final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)  a factor in next year’s US election campaign.”

Kelsey predicts:

  • The Republicans will now “extract their pound of flesh on behalf of their corporate sponsors and local constituencies
  • More intense pressure to deliver to Big Pharma
  • Demands for more radical restrictions on state-owned enterprises
  • Renewed pressure to include rules against so-called currency manipulation.

Trade ministers from the 12-negotiating nations will convene soon for what they expect will be their final  meeting as TPP enters the endgame phase.

Kelsey has take a swipe at Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Groser saying they have effectively conceded over the past week that New Zealand is on a hiding to nothing on dairy in the TPP.

” Groser has downgraded his bottom line from the elimination of all agricultural tariffs over time to simply requiring that ‘dairy is part of the deal’. Even that is not guaranteed.”

 ‘No-one should be surprised that there’s nothing of substance on the table for New Zealand. Dairy is one of the most sensitive items for the US, Canada and Japan. New Zealand has nothing to trade-off in return, and the government is clearly desperate to be part of a final deal whatever the terms’,  Kelsey claimed.  “just as Obama has rolled the dice and “won” at enormous cost to his own party and to working families in the USA, the Key government is prepared to play Russian roulette with our future. The people of New Zealand will be the losers, but unlike the US Congress, our Parliament won’t get the final say”.


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