NZ Newspaper: An 'Honor' To Welcome Small Pacific Rim Countries As They Sign Away Much Of Their Sovereignty

from the most-comprehensive-and-far-sighted-economic-agreement-of-all-time dept

As we’ve written recently, a report from the World Bank suggests that the economic benefits from TPP will be slight for the US, Australia and Canada. New Zealand is predicted to do better, but not much: the econometric modelling predicts a 3.1% boost to its GDP by 2030 — roughly 0.3% extra GDP per year. That’s a pretty poor payback given the price participant countries will have to pay in terms of copyright, biologics and corporate sovereignty. Such details have not prevented one of the main newspapers in the country, the New Zealand Herald, from banging the drum for TPP’s signing ceremony, which is probably going to take place quite soon:

New Zealand is about to have the honour of hosting the formal signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement by trade ministers from 12 nations of the Pacific rim. And it is an honour. This is the most comprehensive and far-sighted economic agreement the world has seen in our lifetime, possibly of all time.

Rather bizarrely, the editorial goes on to list TPP’s many problems:

The TPP’s intellectual property discussions raised the risk that US patent law and copyright protection of pharmaceuticals and other products of investment in science and research could be strengthened at considerable cost to public purchasing agencies, such as Pharmac, and innovation in digital technology in other countries. Medical professionals and IT developers have been among those fearful of the TPP during the course of its negotiation. So were environmentalists and public health promoters. They feared the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement procedures could stop governments taking action in the interests of public health or the environment that would reduce the value of commercial investments.

At this point, you might expect a refutation from the editorial, and a compelling explanation why all those concerns proved misguided. Instead, it notes that many of these fears were stoked by the insane secrecy surrounding the negotiations, and suggests that since the text was released two months ago, everything’s OK now. The editorial has to admit that yes, there are 6000 pages that need to be read, but points out that the final text has provided great summer holiday reading for those in the Southern Hemisphere. It then makes the following claim:

The precise terms seem to have survived scrutiny so far.

In fact, the release of the TPP text has amply confirmed the main worries regarding just about every aspect of the deal. For anyone wanting a quick catch-up on the major problems there, Michael Geist is running a helpful series with the self-explanatory title “The Trouble with the TPP“:

[I] wanted to expand on the trouble with the TPP in more detail. With that goal in mind, I plan to post each weekday until February 4th on problems associated with the TPP. The series will include posts on copyright, privacy, Internet governance, and many other issues.

Maybe the editors at the New Zealand Herald should read the series before the TPP signing ceremony, so that at least they understand why the following is not going to happen:

It is too much to hope any fears now assuaged [sic] will reduce the scale of protest at the signing. But it should not be too much to ask that those philosophically opposed to free trade respect the views of those who disagree with them, and let this country host the occasion with dignity and pride.

Dignity, maybe. But pride? That’s hardly appropriate given what is really happening here.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “NZ Newspaper: An 'Honor' To Welcome Small Pacific Rim Countries As They Sign Away Much Of Their Sovereignty”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
13 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

"I know you have philosophical objections to free trade, but you need to respect my views and actions as I sign away your rights."

But it should not be too much to ask that those philosophically opposed to free trade respect the views of those who disagree with them, and let this country host the occasion with dignity and pride.

You see, since TPP is all about ‘free trade’, clearly the only possible reason someone might disagree or oppose it is because they’re opposed to free trade, as there’s no other reasons they might hold that stance.

The concerns about corporate sovereignty provisions granting private corporations equal footing with governments and the ability to take them to a completely one-sided court, the lock-in of copyright and trademark law preventing reform any direction but up, the complete secrecy during the entire process… obviously all of that is just lies and dishonesty by those expressing them, the real reason for their objections is that they oppose free trade.

Evan says:

Re: "I know you have philosophical objections to free trade, but you need to respect my views and actions as I sign away your rights."

“But it should not be too much to ask that those philosophically opposed to free trade respect the views of those who disagree with them, and let this country host the occasion with dignity and pride.”

That’s basically just the Herald re-quoting our National party Prime Minister, John Key.

Journalistic integrity in New Zealand has pretty much died in the last two years following the MediaWorks take over [by the Americans]

Mattmon (profile) says:

There’s one thing I don’t understand about the TPP. I can understand that the US would be more than happy to sign the TPP. But the other counties that would be screwed by the conditions that the US would want to impose on them through this agreement, where is their incentive to want to sign the TPP? Without the support of the other countries, how can this have a chance of passing?

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But the other counties that would be screwed by the conditions that the US would want to impose on them through this agreement, where is their incentive to want to sign the TPP?

Politicians love schmoozfests. They get to fly off to exotic locales and party in upscale venues, surrounded by adoring news media, all paid for by us. This also fast-tracks them into lucrative jobs with the deal’s financial (special interest corporate) backers following their political careers.

Said politicians of course don’t pay for the result of the agreement passed. Too bad we’re not allowed to string up politicians who sell out their electorate. Accountability? What’s that?

Anonymous Coward says:

What the ttp does is extend extreme us laws on drug pricing and patents to other countrys and
reduce the ability to bring in regulations re food quality and bring up the price of drugs and healthcare costs in all countrys outside the usa.
IS it a honor to sign away your right to make laws and protect your own citizens from predatory corporations
.Should we all welcome our corporate overlords ,
and say goodbye to our democratic rights .

David says:

I can see it before me.

New Zealand is about to have the honour of hosting the formal signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement by trade ministers from 12 nations of the Pacific rim. And it is an honour. This is the most comprehensive and far-sighted economic agreement the world has seen in our lifetime, possibly of all time.

“We are so proud to welcome you here. May I take your coat? What about the shirt? If you keep wearing those trousers, you are discriminating against our denim industry…”

Ken Martin (profile) says:

TPPA signing in NZ

Another NZ paper, the Dominion Post, urges caution about TPPA, saying many of the NZ public are not keen on the proposed “agreement.” I think it is largely a supine surrender to US corporate interests, spearheaded by Hollywood movie mobsters and big pharma. With little real economic benefit to NZ. Even if there is some benefit, international investors will have the power to take signee governments to the cleaners in kangaroo courts if the investors think their investments will be affected by signee government legislation. A loss of sovereignty. I like individual Americans, their innovative technology, but I fear their corrupt, lobbyist driven government. A government unduly influenced by the rich 1%. This is not what the framers oft the US Constitution envisaged.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...