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.

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

Filed Under: copyright, john key, kennedy graham, legislation, new zealand, politics, ratification, tpp


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  1. 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...

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