New Zealand Says Laws To Implement TPP Will Be Passed Now, Despite US Uncertainties, And Won't Be Rolled Back Even If TPP Fails

from the lose-lose dept

As Techdirt has noted, there is evidence from multiple sources that TPP will produce negligible economic benefits for most of the nations involved. Some governments are clearly well aware of this, because they are desperate to avoid an objective cost-benefit evaluation that would show that claims about TPP's value don't stack up. Even given that pig-headed determination to push the deal through, basic prudence would surely dictate that before making all the complex legislative changes required by TPP, countries should at least wait to see whether it's going to happen. Not in New Zealand, apparently, judging by this blog post by Kennedy Graham, a Member of Parliament for the Green party there:

Yesterday in Parliament I asked the Prime Minister if he is planning to change our laws to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), even before it is clear if the US Congress will ratify it.

The Prime Minister said he was going to push ahead with changing our laws and wouldn't wait to see if the US was going to actually ratify the agreement.

If Congress doesn’t agree to the TPPA, or if the Japanese Parliament doesn’t, the whole deal falls apart. This is because the TPPA requires ratification by countries representing at least 85 percent of the total GDP, and that means the US and Japan have to be on board.
But as Graham points out, there's a problem with that:
We could find ourselves in a lose-lose situation where we've changed our laws to suit the TPPA, but the TPPA itself never comes into force so the tariffs and other trade barriers don't disappear for our exporters.

So then I asked, if the TPPA becomes null and void because the US Congress dumps it, will New Zealand reverse the changes to our laws that we’ll have already made?

The Prime Minister's answer was no. The Government won't delay introducing and passing legislation to ratify the TPPA, and then won't reverse the laws if it doesn’t go ahead.
As the video below indicates, when John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was challenged by Graham on this point, Key replied with barely-disguised contempt:



If the United States doesn't ratify the legislation, it's null and void with the United States, in which case we don't have anything to worry about.
But that doesn't really address the question. Yes, TPP will be null and void, but what about the domestic legislation that New Zealand will already have passed at that point? Here are some of things that will have happened:
Changing the length of copyright from 50 years to 70 years, with an annual cost of around [NZ]$55 million. We'll also need to establish new enforcement powers for Customs, and new civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement.

Changes to the Patents Act, which are likely to complicate Pharmac’s access to cheaper medicines.

Changing the Plant Varieties Act, making it harder for farmers to save seeds for use in the following season, and the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act to strengthen the rights of agricultural chemical manufacturers.
Maybe those changes would be automatically reversed if TPP fails, but Key did not say that in his answer, when he could have done so in order to dispel any doubts. The fact that New Zealand is one of the countries that will not be carrying out an independent cost-benefit analysis of the trade deal does not inspire confidence. As Graham points out, it seems that there is a very real risk that people in New Zealand will end up with most of the disadvantages of TPP, but with none of the advantages, which were slim enough to start with.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 1:36am

    Handy that

    Maybe those changes would be automatically reversed if TPP fails, but Key did not say that in his answer, when he could have done so in order to dispel any doubts. The fact that New Zealand is one of the countries that will not be carrying out an independent cost-benefit analysis of the trade deal does not inspire confidence.

    Why if I didn't know better I'd almost think that TPP was simply the excuse being used to change the laws, but I'm sure a government would never be party to a 'trade' agreement simply to be able to claim that they need to make changes to the laws that they would otherwise not be able to do, right?

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

  • identicon
    David, 26 Feb 2016 @ 3:36am

    In other words:

    I'm not giving back the bribes I specifically received for having those laws passed. And those laws help corporations with screwing the public independently of TPP, so I don't see that I should.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 4:24am

    It really sounds like New Zealand wants to be a part of America.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 5:18am

    Sounds like NZ Govt just wanted an excuse to hold their citizens in contempt without being slapped hard for it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 6:33am

    notice yet again how, as with just about all these 'agreements', the most important thing is to lengthen and strengthen copyright and the punishments for abusing/breaking/circumventing/etc! there appears to be nothing to those who come up with these deals more important than music and movies!! how can anyone with an iota of brainpower get to this conclusion? dont people realise that the planet is being given over to the entertainment industries and nothing/no one else matters? it's ridiculous!!!

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

    • identicon
      David, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      "Nothing else matters"? Universal Music Publishing Group's lawyers would like to have a word with you on behalf of their serf, uhm client "Metallica".

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

  • identicon
    H G Wells, 26 Feb 2016 @ 6:41am

    gluegun

    "Countless people will hate the New World Order
    and will die protesting against it." H G Wells- The New World Order (1940)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 6:46am

    no changing of laws required....

    At least, according to President Obama.
    Though when a treaty does not affect a country's laws, was not explained.

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

    • icon
      Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 6:53am

      Re: no changing of laws required....

      @ac--
      The USA is already an outlier on bad patent and copyright law. The point of TPP in the USA is to make reform more difficult.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: no changing of laws required....

        "Oh we'd absolutely love to roll back copyright law to be more in line with what the public considers reasonable, we really would, but unfortunately we can't as that would violate our 'International obligations' from various trade agreements.

        Why yes, we did have a hand in writing those agreements...

        Well yes, we were almost always the ones pushing the strongest for even more draconian punishments for violation of copyright, and extensions to the duration...

        Like I said we would absolutely love to change copyright law to better suit the wishes of the public, but alas, our hands are tied."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:30am

    So not only will the length of copyright be extended, everyone will have to pay for it? Exactly who does this benefit outside of corporations collecting twenty years worth of money on the behalf of corpses?

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

    • identicon
      David, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      Their heirs. In fact, at least the RIAA and its ilk forward most of the proceeds from dead artists to the heirs. They live just from skimming off the humongous cash cow's milk. They would be equally happy burning most of the proceeds if it gave them an excuse to pocket their share.

      And with regard to helping arts and science, the effect is effectively identical.

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

  • identicon
    Chris, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:44am

    What a joke

    Thank god I left that country a decade ago and never looked back. The citizens are dumb as bricks and the government is a slave to US media special interests, not even something worth while like military.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:44am

    sounds as if someone needs to investigate Keys and see what he has/is/will gain out of going all for the TPPA! how can the head of any government do something when the overall material may be refused?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:47am

    I think the article has it wrong. The US will accept the TPP, those running for office are just stating they want to renegotiate the bribes required for it to pass. They were not in a position of power when the first round of bribes was negotiated. So once they are in position of power they want to make sure they get their bribe increased.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2016 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      The US will not accept the TPP

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 28 Feb 2016 @ 11:12pm

        Re: Re:

        It's a matter of timing. They want to wait until after any major elections so that they don't risk showing their hand when it actually matters. Do it before an election, and people can protest against a particular candidate by not voting for them. Do it after an election, and you've got several years for the memory to fade before the next election.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 7:47am

    1 of 2 things will happen.

    Either the citizenry in multiple countries will revolt against their government's own version of tyranny or they will accept being made slaves instead of citizens.

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

  • identicon
    Whoever, 26 Feb 2016 @ 8:20am

    Corruption on a massive scale.

    How else to explain this treaty? NZ will be harmed by passing these laws if the treaty is not ratified. Any gain is probably fictional.

    So how else to explain why countries are rushing to pass this? The most obvious reason is corruption which has to be on a massive scale for this bad treaty to go through.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 9:27am

      Re: Corruption on a massive scale.

      Guess what: if the treaty is ratified NZ will still be harmed!

      NZ is putting themselves into a no-win situation.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 1:00pm

    Who Here...

    Thinks that Corporations running things, is a good thing?
    Who thinks that Bending over to give Corps a free hand, will advance anything?
    Who thinks corps will be responsible for themselves, and Their POLLUTION??

    I love how people throw words around, lets try this..
    This would be Communism with the Corps at the head of it..
    And anything they SAY/WANT is what you would have to live by..

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

  • identicon
    mick, 26 Feb 2016 @ 9:29pm

    TPPA and the dick head Prime Minister

    John Key is an American sycophant. He will do anything to ingratiate himself into the American corporate scene.
    As a resident of New Zealand and an anti TPPA activist I cant wait for Key to move back to America so we can start repairing the damage he has created!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2016 @ 2:11am

    Once UK farm, now USA bitch

    Before the EU /Common Market came about decades ago NZ was just another farm for the UK. Then they were dumped & had no idea what to do to make it in the world.

    Now being China's farm & the USA's bitch can be a difficult double act to pull off. This won't end well for a country that has nothing to offer the world except cattle & sheep products as tourism can't get them through the tough times by itself.

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

  • identicon
    David E.H. Smith, 28 Feb 2016 @ 9:58am

    TPP; Japan; ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada paves the way for Expanding & Improving the basis of the Yamada led ‘Sword & Shield’ Counter attack Suit against the Japanese gov’t, et al.

    TPP, et al; Suing the Global Corporate Economy via ‘your’ government.

    TPP; Japan; ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada paves the way for Expanding & Improving the basis of the Yamada led ‘Sword & Shield’ Counter attack Suit against the Japanese gov’t, et al. TPP & other Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’ signatory gov’ts. in Conflict of Interest.

    (CAN.) – The TPP & the other global corporate treaties/’arrangements’ provides that the signatory governments will not only be no longer able to sue corporations for not adhering to the laws of their host countries & thereby, replace the desire of American lead corporations for tort reform with tort abolishment, but the TPP will also place the signatory governments in positions of a conflict of interest in regard to their own harmless citizens who are being forced to find their own, non-governmental means of enforcing existing & future laws that have been passed by way of:
    1) the secrecy of unethical lobbyists for the benefits of their wealthy corporation clients & their shareholders, &/or,
    2) the ethical desire to compete with other countries by passing laws that protect & enhance the well-being of its citizens regarding their health care, education, worker safety, environment, transfer payments, etc.

    However, it seems that it is only recently that the harmless citizens of Japan & other nations are learning that due to Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the government of Canada’s anxious desire to impress its TPP corporate associates, &/or, the citizens of Japan, et al, with:
    1) its unencumbered access to the natural resources that are continuing to be discovered in Canada,
    2) its ability to ‘manage’ Native Canadians in regard to accessing the aforementioned natural resources in Canada
    &
    3) et al,
    Corporate Canada, &/or, the Canadian government has misinformed its corporate associates & deprived its corporate associates of due diligence information (eg. the Canadian government, et al, is continuing to deprive Native Canadians, et al, of the information & questions in The W.A.D. Accord), which will greatly affect the costs of developing the aforementioned natural resources, and thus, as a consequence of Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the Canadian government’s actions it has given the harmless citizens of Japan, et al, the basis for:
    1) not only, suing Corporate Canada, &/or, the government of Canada, via the Canadian government,
    but, for :
    2) also expanding & improving upon Mr. Yamada’s existing suit against the Japanese government, &/or, Corporate Japan, et al, as well.
    And, thus, Corporate Canada, via their lobbyists to the Canadian government, are most anxious to escape from their liabilities by a rapid ratification of the TPP, et al.
    Therefore, the Japanese group, led by Mr. Masahiko Yamada, who are suing their government regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of themselves & the citizens of Japan, might seriously consider suing Corporate Canada, in order to ensure that they, the harmless citizens, do not end up having to ‘contribute’ any of their tax dollars to pay for The Compensation in The W.A.D. Accord, et al, & thereby, prevent Corporate Canada from escaping its liabilities by way of the ratification of the TPP, et al.

    Furthermore, by suing Corporate Canada &/or, the government of Canada, by Mr. Yamada’s group, would enable the harmless citizens of Japan as a ‘sword’ & a ‘shield’ to prevent the government of Japan from using any of tax dollars of the harmless citizens of Japan to further punish the harmless citizens, ie. the ‘shield’ & to provide the monies necessary from the punitive damages, on an on-going basis, to continue to fight the future capricious forays & assaults against the harmless citizens’ democracy and counteract the damages to it, etc. caused by Corporate Japan, the government of Japan, et al, ie. the ‘sword’.

    And ‘finally’, the aforementioned conflict of interest raises the question; what other TPP information are the harmless citizens being deprived of regarding the financial liabilities that the corporations are continuing to find in order to shift them to the harmless citizens by way of the global corporations lobbying ‘their’, the harmless citizens’, governments? And, had the harmless citizens the opportunity & wherewithal to investigate their new & growing liabilities, would they have acquiesced to accept the TPP, et al, while being uninformed & deliberately misled.

    In the meantime, please see the reference material below: ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada: ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of JAPAN, America, China, Canada, the EU, the Trans Pacific nations, et al v. the (harmless) Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’ (see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com)

    which includes:
    1) The W.A.D. Accord, 2) ‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’ & 3) et al.

    ‘The Submission’ also considers: 1) what is a ‘good corporate citizen’ & 2) how to make those corporations which are not good corporate citizens to conform, or, to make the corporations persona non grata.
    The letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ‘Prime Minister Abe; You’ve been Served with; The NOTIFICATION of Pre-existing CHALLENGE to The TPP’, was sent separately.

    Please also see; ‘The Basis for Litigation & Litigation Funders; Suing the Global Corporate Economy’.
    *****
    Mr.Yamada & the citizens of Japan, I look forward to reading about your thoughts, your questions, your feelings, your improvements, etc., regarding the enclosed.


    If you should have any questions, or, problems with the enclosed questions & information, &/or, any other related material, I can be contacted via davidehsmith.wordpress.com


    David E.H. Smith
    - Researcher
    - 'Qui tam...'

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

  • icon
    vgiannell5 (profile), 28 Feb 2016 @ 10:34pm

    I've been thinking. Even if the TPP fails, corporations like MPAA and RIAA will just whine and complain that our protests against it is an abuse of power and will most likely make threats like cutting off political funding just they did after the SOPA defeat.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Feb 2016 @ 1:21am

    Wow! Well that's one way I hadn't thought of!

    Have all the countries adopt US Copyright & Patent provisions by luring them in with a trade agreement then renege the trade agreement and leave the countries stuck with the new laws.

    RIAA & MPAA can then point & make a stink at said laws and embargo gets enforced.

    I'm pretty sure that the US reviewed the whole "Investor-state dispute settlement" concept and realized that it could be used against them.

    It seems not everything is invented in the US after all... /s

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

  • identicon
    David E.H. Smith, 2 Mar 2016 @ 4:05pm

    Suing the Global Corporate Economy via ‘your’ government.

    TPP, CETA & the other Global Corporate treaties/'arrangements'; Suing the Global Corporate Economy via ‘your’ government.
    Japan; ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada paves the way for Expanding & Improving the basis of the Yamada led ‘Sword & Shield’ Counter attack Suit against the Japanese gov’t, et al. TPP & other Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’ signatory gov’ts. in Conflict of Interest.

    (CAN.) – The TPP & the other global corporate treaties/’arrangements’ provides that the signatory governments will not only be no longer able to sue corporations for not adhering to the laws of their host countries & thereby, replace the desire of American lead corporations for tort reform with tort abolishment, but the TPP will also place the signatory governments in positions of a conflict of interest in regard to their own harmless citizens who are being forced to find their own, non-governmental means of enforcing existing & future laws that have been passed by way of:
    1) the secrecy of unethical lobbyists for the benefits of their wealthy corporation clients & their shareholders,
    &/or,
    2) the ethical desire to compete with other countries by passing laws that protect & enhance the well-being of its citizens regarding their health care, education, worker safety, environment, transfer payments, etc.

    However, it seems that it is only recently that the harmless citizens of Japan & other nations are learning that due to Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the government of Canada’s anxious desire to impress its TPP corporate associates, &/or, the citizens of Japan, et al, with:
    1) its unencumbered access to the natural resources that are continuing to be discovered in Canada,
    2) its ability to ‘manage’ Native Canadians in regard to accessing the aforementioned natural resources in Canada
    &
    3) et al,
    Corporate Canada, &/or, the Canadian government has misinformed its corporate associates & deprived its corporate associates of due diligence information (eg. the Canadian government, et al, is continuing to deprive Native Canadians, et al, of the information & questions in The W.A.D. Accord),
    which will greatly affect the costs of developing the aforementioned natural resources, and thus, as a consequence of Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the Canadian government’s actions it has given the harmless citizens of Japan, et al, the basis for:

    1) not only, suing Corporate Canada, &/or, the government of Canada, via the Canadian government,
    but, for :
    2) also expanding & improving upon Mr. Yamada’s existing suit against the Japanese government, &/or, Corporate Japan, et al, as well.
    And, thus, Corporate Canada, via their lobbyists to the Canadian government, are most anxious to escape from their liabilities by a rapid ratification of the TPP, et al.

    Therefore, the Japanese group, led by Mr. Masahiko Yamada, who are suing their government regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of themselves & the citizens of Japan, might seriously consider suing Corporate Canada, in order to ensure that they, the harmless citizens, do not end up having to ‘contribute’ any of their tax dollars to pay for The Compensation in The W.A.D. Accord, et al, & thereby, prevent Corporate Canada from escaping its liabilities by way of the ratification of the TPP, et al.

    Furthermore, by suing Corporate Canada &/or, the government of Canada, by Mr. Yamada’s group, would enable the harmless citizens of Japan as a ‘sword’ & a ‘shield’ to prevent the government of Japan from using any of tax dollars of the harmless citizens of Japan to further punish the harmless citizens, ie. the ‘shield’ & to provide the monies necessary from the punitive damages, on an on-going basis, to continue to fight the future capricious forays & assaults against the harmless citizens’ democracy
    and counteract the damages to it, etc. caused by Corporate Japan, the government of Japan, et al, ie. the ‘sword’.

    In the meantime,
    Please see the reference material below:
    ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada:
    ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of JAPAN, America, China, Canada, the EU,
    the Trans-Pacific nations, et al,
    v.
    the (harmless) Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’
    (see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com)

    which includes:
    1) The W.A.D. Accord,
    2) ‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’
    &
    3) et al.

    ‘The Submission’ also considers:
    1) what is a ‘good corporate citizen’
    &
    2) how to make those corporations which are not good corporate citizens to conform, or, to make the corporations persona non grata.

    The letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ‘Prime Minister Abe; You’ve been Served with; The NOTIFICATION of Pre-existing CHALLENGE to The TPP’, was sent separately.

    Please also see; ‘The Basis for Litigation & Litigation Funders; Suing the Global Corporate Economy’.
    ***
    For More Info, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com
    ***
    Please consider sharing the above info & questions with 10 friends who share with 10 friends & so on...

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


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