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+


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Jan 2016 @ 1:49am

    "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.

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

    • identicon
      Evan, 15 Jan 2016 @ 4:31am

      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]

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

  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 15 Jan 2016 @ 4:13am

    I would hope that any New Zealander with dignity and price would be out there protesting this vile deal.

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 15 Jan 2016 @ 5:12am

    In the old days, people had to loose a war before signing away their country in surrender papers ...

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

  • icon
    Mattmon (profile), 15 Jan 2016 @ 7:13am

    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?

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 17 Jan 2016 @ 11:51am

      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?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2016 @ 12:35pm

    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 .

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

  • identicon
    David, 15 Jan 2016 @ 1:19pm

    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..."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jan 2016 @ 9:02am

    This world is doomed.

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

    • identicon
      Law Whore NOT, 16 Jan 2016 @ 9:06am

      Re: This world is doomed.

      Just reading Techdirt, its easy to see.. If you want to get depressed even more, just hang out here with me.

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

  • identicon
    Ken Martin, 16 Jan 2016 @ 10:09am

    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.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 17 Jan 2016 @ 11:58am

      Re: TPPA signing in NZ

      This is not what the framers of the US Constitution envisaged.

      Actually, it is. They were very afraid that their best efforts would ultimately not be enough. They were right to be afraid. They weren't enough.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.