Politics

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
politics, timing, tpp



After The 'Maui Meltdown', TPP Has Missed A Key Deadline That Probably Means It's Doomed Whatever Is Now Agreed

from the your-time-is-up dept

In what is being called the "Maui Meltdown" by some, the TPP ministerial talks in Hawaii last week failed to produce the agreement that some hoped for, and many more expected. That's despite the fact that it was billed as definitely the last round. The New York Times has a good summary of the key problems that need to be solved to achieve that elusive final deal:

Tokyo was ready to extend major concessions on American truck tariffs but was blocked by Mexico, which wanted less competition for its own trucks in the United States market.

Canada held firm on protecting its politically sensitive dairy market ahead of elections in October, but for New Zealand, a tiny country with huge dairy exports, that was unacceptable.

And virtually all of the parties hated American protections of pharmaceutical firms, but a compromise on that issue could cost the support of Republicans in Congress.
It's not yet clear when all the negotiators will meet for yet another definitely final round -- some reports speak of one this month, others of a November meeting -- but it's already emerged that sectoral talks are taking place in an attempt to hammer out deals in the areas where problems remain. But an analysis from Public Citizen suggests that it may not matter: it may already be too late for TPP.
Assuming the quickest timeline conceivable under the Fast Track rules, and that somehow a required International Trade Commission (ITC) report on TPP impacts could be completed faster than has ever occurred for past pacts, a TPP vote could take place about four and one half months after Congress is given notice of intent to sign a deal. Thus, negotiations must conclude at the July 28-31 TPP ministerial and a text must be ready for notice of intent to sign by August 1. That text must be publicly posted on August 31. This would allow for a vote the week of December 14. After that, Congress goes on recess and a vote would roll to 2016.
Public Citizen's analysis is detailed -- it runs to several pages -- and errs on the side of assuming the US government can push TPP through the system faster than anything comparable before it. And yet even on that generous assumption, the key deadline -- August 1 -- has not been met, which means that the TPP vote is almost certain to take place in 2016. Here's why that's important:
The political costs of an unpopular "yes" vote for the TPP will escalate if voting rolls into the 2016 presidential election year. Already Democratic and GOP presidential candidates have begun attacking the TPP and their public criticism is generating public attention on the pact’s potential threats of job loss and more. A 2016 TPP vote also would increase the risk that voters could punish those who vote "yes" on the TPP during the November 2016 congressional election.
Every passing day pushes any eventual TPP vote further into 2016, and diminishes the likelihood that it will be successful. The talks will continue, and agreement on the outstanding problematic areas may even be reached, but perhaps it no longer matters.

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  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 3:44am

    Just to make things even worse for TPP, there's a federal election in Canada Oct 19th. The current party in power has been pushing hard for the TPP. There's a very real chance that the party in power after the election will be one that finds many of the TPP term unacceptable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      There's a very real chance that the party in power after the election will be one that finds many of the TPP term unacceptable.

      A story I read in the TO Star last night says all three of Conservative, Liberal, and NDP parties support TPP (it didn't mention Greens). Consequently, I doubt this will be an election issue.

      Whichever way the election goes won't matter in this context.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 11:02am

        Re: Re:

        This is the problem I have with national elections over the last couple decades in particular. If ALL of the candidates stand for things that are intolerable (often the exact same stance), what the hell good is voting?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Cerberus (profile), 1 Sep 2015 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        But perhaps, while still supporting TPP in general, they will strongly object to many clauses, making it much harder to reach agreement with other countries?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 1 Sep 2015 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... they will strongly object to many clauses ...

          I'd really like to know why New Zealand is objecting so strongly to Canada's dairy and meat marketing regimes. Canada has far fewer people living in it than a lot of much closer potential markets. That seems very suspicious to me, almost like somebody else's putting them up to it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Darkhog, 6 Aug 2015 @ 4:38am

    Everything according to plan. Now, there will be some more delays. The thing is, TPP will be slower to push than anything before. Just trust me. I know what I'm doing. For great justice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 4:54am

    It would be ironic if - after proceeding despite all the protests and objections from civil organizations - TPP were defeated by bureaucratic bs from government side.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    beech, 6 Aug 2015 @ 5:26am

    or...

    Or they drag their feet and push it through in 2017. They've been getting paid to negotiate for this long, why not milk another year out of it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 5:43am

      Re: or...

      Except the article makes it clear that it will become a hot button issue for the 2016 election season. There's also a cynical part of me who hopes that, if Congress can't kill the Iran deal they will abandon TPP to spite Obama.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 5:56am

        Re: Re: or...

        And in late 2016 the election will be over. No pain for 2, 4 or 6 years for the senators voting for the treaty. Probably the best time to hide the garbage.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 6:10am

        Re: Re: or...

        " if Congress can't kill the Iran deal they will abandon TPP to spite Obama."

        Win - Win !

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 5:52am

    Election $$$ won't flow unless TPP

    This is payback time for the last election cycle $$$. Time to dance with the one who brung you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 6:32am

    Oh crap, they are going to push this at Christmas, aren't they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 6:36am

    Blame Game

    Obviously it's the fault of the USTR for selecting a last round location whose name could be associated to allow an alliteration so unfortunate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Y Pennog Coch (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Blame Game

      So if every town comes with an unfortunate headline, there will be

      nowhere to go to complete the TPP?

      CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

      Arsenal Altercation
      Batman Brouhaha
      Caracas Fracas
      Damascus Derailment
      Edinburgh Enmity
      Failsworth Flip-Flop
      Godalming Grief
      The Hague Howler
      Inulec Implosion
      Karachi Skid
      Lanark Calamity
      (Maui Meltdown)
      Nairobi Nightmare
      Owen Goal
      Penistone Disaster Zone
      Qaasuitsup Titsup
      Rangoon Wreck
      Scunthorpe Squabble
      Tokyo Rift
      Utrecht Uproar
      Verona Game-Over
      Weston Super-Mare
      Xiangyang Prang
      Yoxall Yips
      Zhengzhou Zinger

      Any more for any more?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 6:59am

    Nice that protectionist interests regarding dairy products, pharmacies and trucks are thwarting other protectionist plans regarding copyrights and patents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:25am

      Re:

      It doesn't need to be that way. Just patent cheese and copyright the gene sequences in genetically modified cattle food and dairy will become the content industry's cash cow.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      ...Nice that protectionist interests regarding dairy products, pharmacies and trucks are thwarting other protectionist plans...

      Not so much pharmacies but the drug manufacturers; pharmacies are just the end points of distribution. BUT: with the prices of drugs nowadays the question must be asked: do these companies actually need protection? 'Cause we the people certainly need protection from the unjustified high prices!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:12am

    TPP Has Missed A Key Deadline That Probably Means It's Doomed Whatever Is Now Agreed

    I would really like to believe that... but wasn't that what we all thought about Fast Track just a few short weeks ago?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 6 Aug 2015 @ 7:55am

    Be Prepared.

    Still, if it comes to it, I suppose we employ the same tactics as for PIPA/SOPA, that is, Wikipedia blackout, etc, and some improvements besides. The Demand Progress organization is beginning to move into orchestrating personal visits to each congressman's local offices. That sounds like a good idea.

    So let's plan how to do it. Try to get a large number of moms to visit congressional local offices, _with_ their children in tow. If you reach back to the civil rights movement, there are practical details, like arranging transport, to make it all happen. Stuff like where are you going to rent a bus. Who's going to pay for it. You need to arrange an on-board picnic. Again, ditto about payment. Bathrooms. Make sure you spring for a Greyhound-type bus which has a loo. Make sure you have a first-aid and "accidents" kit on every bus. If you are talking about more than one busload you need a planned arrival route, off-loading zones, places for the buses to wait, etc. In short, you plan the whole business like a Marine landing, sans guns. That's what Martin Luther King and company did, back during the Civil Rights Movement. None of this stuff is particularly difficult, but you do have to see to it. If you don't do all this stuff, people will start looking for their own necessaries, etc., and it will not be possible to move them along smartly. If you can get someone to pick up a five-hundred-or-thousand dollar tab for each bus, up front, ratheer than trying to pass the hat among the participants, that contributes significantly to the reliability of the operation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Andrew D. Todd, 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:01am

      Re: Be Prepared.

      Further comments:

      Two cadres per bus, one for the front and one for the back. The cadres to make sure that no one is packing weapons. There to be arrangements to send home anyone who refuses to keep discipline, or who becomes ill. Each platoon of buses to have its own chief, in his own car, with a driver, so that he can expeditiously get to a trouble-spot, jump out of the car, and take charge. All cadres to have each other's cellphone numbers on their own cellphones. Arrangements to be in place with a bail bondsman in case someone gets arrested.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 6 Aug 2015 @ 11:19am

    One can hope

    One can hope this happens to TTIP as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:24pm

    Irony?

    Let's see, to get a treaty to protect corporations, we'll get corporate lobbyists, for corporations whose existence is dependent on them being fierce competitors, to negotiate the details. And it turns out that what is good for one corporation is not so good for their competitor.

    Huh, who would have guessed?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CharlieBrown, 6 Aug 2015 @ 2:52pm

    Nothing more to say except......

    GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE! (i did not have the time of my life)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2015 @ 9:13pm

    Yay!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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