Tag Archives: TPP

The Slow, Painful Death of the TPP – Dean Baker. 

The basic point that everyone should know by now is that the TPP had little to do with trade.

The United States already had trade deals with six of the 11 other countries in the pact. The trade barriers with the other five countries were already very low in most cases, so there was little room left for further trade liberalization in the TPP.

Instead, the main purpose of the TPP was to lock in place a business-friendly structure of regulation.


Trans Pacific Partnership could go ahead without the United States. 

If Donald Trump doesn’t want to be part of the TPP, other countries could just ditch him and go ahead with it anyway.

Leaders and trade ministers of the 12 countries signed up to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) have congregated in Peru for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week. 

Prime Minister John Key says Trade Minister Todd McClay has been meeting with his counterparts, and some have expressed a wish to go ahead with the deal, even if they can’t get the US President-elect on side.  NewsHub 

Well then we could be talking about a worthwhile deal. A proper trade deal with mutual benefits for all countries but minus the ISDN structure and minus American corporations greedy blackmail. That kind of Trans Pacific ‘Partnership’  makes sense. 

TPP is dead and major rethink is needed. – Jane Kelsey. 

Let’s be clear. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement  has not been killed by Donald Trump. Its likely demise is the culmination of a co-ordinated six-year education campaign across most of the 12 countries that has made it one of the most unpopular economic agreements ever to be negotiated.

The message is simple. Ordinary people feel alienated and disempowered by secretly negotiated deals that treat them as dispensable. Far from an agreement for the 21st century, the TPP belongs to the last century when governments in the grip of neoliberalism empowered corporations to rule, and the super rich became even richer at the expense of everyone else.

Bernie Sanders brought that agenda to the US election by denouncing the deal and calling for genuinely progressive alternatives. Trump echoed that call and a reluctant Hillary Clinton followed suit. But Trump is no Bernie Sanders. His election is no cause to celebrate, even for opponents of the TPP. What he considers a trade agreement acceptable to America is likely to be even more toxic.

Distaste for Trump cannot disguise the message that underpins his victory, the Brexit vote, the backlash against international investment treaties, and the paralysis of other mega-regional agreements between the US and EU and the EU and Canada. Failure to look for genuine alternatives makes the ostrich-like stance of our Government and others who are already plotting their next moves down the same dead-end highway all the more dangerous.

NZ Herald 


Obama administration admits defeat after congressional leaders from both parties say they will not bring trade deal forward during lame-duck session. 

White House officials conceded on Friday that the president’s hard-fought-for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would not pass Congress, as lawmakers there prepared for the anti-global trade policies of President-elect Donald Trump.

Earlier this week, congressional leaders in both parties said they would not bring the trade deal forward during a lame-duck session of Congress, before the formal transition of power on 20 January.

The Guardian 

Not this time John. Hopefully we can kick your sorry ass out next year, before you can do more damage. 

TPP – Binding Referendum – Let the People Decide! | Action Station.

Sign The Petition. Action Station

The Governor General is the appointed guardian of our democracy. He swore an oath to serve the People, “so help me God!” We’re entitled to hold him to that oath. This petition will also apply to Dame Patsy Reddy when she takes over from Sir Jerry Mateparae later this year.

TPP would undermine our democracy. It is in effect a “corporate-rights” treaty which would give power to foreign investors to govern us through secretive offshore tribunals.

The Government’s denial of any opportunity for us to vote on this creates a constitutional crisis. No Government is entitled to trade away our democracy without our informed consent. It’s the Governor General’s duty to ensure the Government is stopped.

No one can force the Governor General (or the Queen) to sign the legislation to ratify TPP. He must refuse to sign it because there is no informed consent from the People to this loss of our democracy. Without his signature, it doesn’t become law, and the Government cannot ratify TPP.

Action Station

Watch Amanda Vickers “TPPA – Let the PEOPLE decide!!” YouTube 

Inequality As Policy: Selective Trade Protectionism Favors Higher Earners. – Dean Baker. 

Offshoring manufacturing may have hurt many working people in America, but professionals and intellectual property have been robustly protected. 

Globalization and technology are routinely cited as drivers of inequality over the last four decades. While the relative importance of these causes is disputed, both are often viewed as natural and inevitable products of the working of the economy, rather than as the outcomes of deliberate policy. 

In fact, both the course of globalization and the distribution of rewards from technological innovation are very much the result of policy. Insofar as they have led to greater inequality, this has been the result of conscious policy choices.

Starting with globalization, there was nothing pre-determined about a pattern of trade liberalization that put U.S. manufacturing workers in direct competition with their much lower paid counterparts in the developing world. Instead, that competition was the result of trade pacts written to make it as easy as possible for U.S. corporations to invest in the developing world to take advantage of lower labor costs, and then ship their products back to the United States. The predicted and actual result of this pattern of trade has been to lower wages for manufacturing workers and non-college educated workers more generally, as displaced manufacturing workers crowd into other sectors of the economy.

New Economic Thinking 

The TPP and Free Trade: Time to Retake the English Language. 

The proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are planning to do a full court press in the lame duck session of Congress following the election. We will be bombarded with speeches and columns from President Obama and other illustrious figures telling us how it is important to approve the TPP for a variety of reasons.

We can be certain that one of the reasons will be the inherent virtues of free trade. They will not be telling the truth.
The TPP is not about free trade. It does little to reduce tariffs and quotas for the simple reason that these barriers are already very low. In fact, the United States already has trade deals with six of the other 11 countries in the TPP. This is why the non-partisan United States International Trade Commission (ITC) estimated that when the full gains from the TPP are realized in 2032, they will come to just 0.23 percent of GDP. This is a bit more than a normal month’s growth.
In fact, the TPP goes far in the opposite direction, increasing protectionism in the form of stronger and longer patent and copyright protection. These forms of protection for prescription drugs, software and other products, often raise the price by a factor of a hundred or more above the free market price. This makes them equivalent to tariffs of several thousand percent. TruthOut 

The Free-Trade Miracle. 

“Global free trade provides the greatest opportunity to improve human welfare over the next decade and a half. It has already helped lift more than a billion people out of poverty over the past quarter-century. Lowering trade barriers even more could double average incomes in the poorest parts of the world over the next 15 years.

Yes, there are costs to free trade that must be better addressed; but the costs are vastly outweighed by the benefits. Yet, in rich countries today, the mood has turned against free trade. That is a tragedy.” –  Bjorn Lomborg

Here’s another example of how even very smart people confuse ‘anti-trade agreement’ sentiment with ‘anti-trade’ sentiment.

There’s certainly no argument about the benefits of free trade for people’s standard of living. Even our caveman ancestors understood that basic truth. 

Anti TPP, TTIP and CETA protests are precisely ‘PRO FREE TRADE’ protests. Those ‘trade’ agreements are nothing but about locking up large portions of the market for massive corporate profitability at the expense of our right to ‘genuine’ free trade. Meaning ‘anybody can trade with anybody’ without restriction. True free trade means no tarriffs or trade barriers. These so called trade agreements are putting up barriers inhibiting trade with huge parts of the international market. It is simply not profitable to do so when the economic consequences of trade-restrictions imposed by powerful corporations under these agreements exists. 

Project Syndicate 

Europe’s Trade Policy: Can a Phoenix Rise From the Ashes? Let’s Hope Not. Let’s Stop the TPPA too! 

Public opinion is being given taken seriously by Northern hemisphere politicians. What’s wrong with our bunch? Stop The TPP! 

There is little hope to rescue the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, an arrangement once envisioned to be a ground-breaking agreement between the world’s two largest economic blocs. Public protests against TTIP also seem close to bringing down the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and it is uncertain whether even this deal, which was not thought to be controversial, will be ratified. Social Europe


Fran O’Sullivan, confused as the rest. “Spread the word – trade is good”

Of Course Trade Is Good Fran.

If there is one thing that unsettles about the presidential election in the United States, it is the resurgence of anti-trade rhetoric.

Republican Donald Trump was quick to leverage anti-globalisation sentiment to garner votes by demonising the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

But when Democrat Hillary Clinton – who formerly championed TPP while US Secretary of State – performed her own pirouette, this led the proposition that the world could be heading towards a more insular age.

“People seem to forget the reason the Great Depression lasted so long as it did and was as bad as it was, was largely because of the ‘Smoot Hawley’ Tariff Act which put up trade barriers among nations. I think it is really important to speak out.

I have said to customers, ‘We have to be out there explaining to people that trade is good. Trade is important. Globalisation is really important for everybody’s benefit, not just for individual companies’.” – Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer

NZ Herald

Nobody in their right mind is saying that trade is bad. Don’t be idiotic. Humans have been trading forever. If the Trans Pacific ‘Partnership’ was purely about trade there would perhaps only be a few eccentrics protesting against it. The TPP is fundamentally about handing market control in this region over to American multinational corporations for the immediate benefit of their shareholders. It is not about ‘Free Trade’ at all, it’s about exactly the opposite: market control.

Scrap the ISDS clauses, boot America out of the pact. Then we could possibly have something like a fair and equitable trade pact. 

US will miss out if it doesn’t sign TPP deal, says Key

The United States would forgo a “massive lost opportunity” if it does not pass the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal in November or December John Key bluntly told a New York audience today.

He said it would be a loss not only for US consumers and businesses but also for the potential expansion of the deal to countries such as China, Indonesia and South Korea.
Presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton say they would renegotiate the deal among 12 countries.
President Barack Obama’s so-called lame-duck period, after the presidential elections but before the winner is sworn in in January, is his last opportunity to get the deal through under his Administration. NZ Herald

NZ dairy companies urge WTO action against Canada

A group representing New Zealand dairy companies has joined forces with overseas counterparts in a bid to get the World Trade Organisation to take action over what they allege is the dumping of dairy products on world markets by Canada.

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) – which represents all the main dairy companies in New Zealand – said it had asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to initiate proceedings against Canada if it continues with a planned extension to its dairy trade protections. NZ Herald

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