Trans-Pacific Partnership

Bye bye US, Ni hao China for TPP

Looks like Donald Trump is going to abandon the TPP, fair enough, now we can go invite China in.

Donald Trump says he’ll begin to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in office.

Calling the 12-nation agreement “a potential disaster for our country,” the president-elect said he would file a notification of intent to withdraw from the deal pushed by President Barack Obama as soon as he takes office on January 20.

Instead, Trump, who had long flagged he would dump the TPP, said he would pursue “fair” bilateral trade agreements. ? Read more »

Hope yet for TPP says Charles Finny

Charles Finny knows a thing or two about trade.

His NBR column explains why the Labour party shouldn’t be praising Donald Trump for the death of the TPP just yet.

Since the outcome of the US presidential election became clear, there have been many people commenting on the implications of the result for trade policy.?The views expressed are largely gloomy.

Some go so far as to suggest that globalisation is at an end and that the era of trade liberalisation died with it. Others suggest the US has created a leadership vacuum that China will fill. Yet more are suggesting a different approach to the way New Zealand negotiates free-trade agreements.

These people may well be proved correct but my advice to everyone is to take a cold shower and be more patient. It is too early to reach any firm judgments on what a Trump Administration is going to mean for trade policy.

Read more »

TPP will live under Key. China or Russia might step up

John Key is a deal maker. He will try and keep the TPP alive as free trade really is the key to growing our economy.

Prime Minister John Key is still clinging onto hope that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will come into existence.

But if it doesn’t back-up plans are already being considered.

Mr Key said in Auckland on Wednesday that the 12-nation trade agreement is still a long way from being restarted, but he believes the US will be a “massive beneficiary” and that President-elect Donald Trump could be convinced of its benefits.

“Quite quickly people are going to come at him with a stream of advice and I think that advice will be quite consistent with the advice that drove President Obama to want to be a big part of TPP, and that is US leadership in the region and US companies having access and better access into the fast growing Asian markets,” he said. ? Read more »

Kaikoura Earthquake allows TPP to pass quietly

The TPP bill has been passed, quietly, hidden from view by the Kaikoura earthquake.

Parliament has passed the bill that allows the government to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement amid opposition complaints that it’s a waste of time.

The opposition would say that. But since when have they been right on anything. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, if only Labour had that much accuracy.

The bill lines up New Zealand laws with its obligations under the 12-nation agreement which covers 40 per cent of global trade and 800 million people.

Partner countries signed it in February but it still has to be ratified – and the United States is the big problem.

President-elect Donald Trump is a vehement opponent and Prime Minister John Key has said the chance of the US Congress ratifying it before the January 20 inauguration is “close to zero”. ? Read more »

Busting myths: TPP

Patrick Smellie provides a useful list to help with busting the myths of the left wing losers who oppose everything and anything to do with free trade.

So, that’s No 1 in a list of the things that opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement don’t want you to understand. The secrecy surrounding TPP negotiations is typical of any such exercise.

No 2: The bogey of corporations being able to sue governments is not only overblown, but corporations can do that now, without a TPP. Look across the Tasman, where Big Tobacco is suing the government over its plan to enforce plain packaging for cigarettes.

No 3: Corporations might try to sue but they’ll be whistling if the government is acting in the public interest. Raising new taxes, protecting the environment, or regulating for public-health reasons won’t be excuses to mount court action.

No 4: United States corporate interests are obviously among those seeking influence on the TPP agenda, but that doesn’t mean the US Senate and Congress are on board. That’s why US President Barack Obama is having such trouble getting “fast-track” authority to negotiate TPP.

No 5: US politicians know less about what’s in the TPP negotiating documents than US corporate lobbies. So it must be a plot, right? Well, actually, no. Politicians in the US, and in New Zealand for that matter, can agree to maintain confidentiality and be briefed on whatever they like with respect to TPP. Labour’s trade and foreign affairs spokesmen, Phil Goff and David Shearer, avail themselves of this benefit. They support TPP, along with Shane Jones and some other Labour heavy-hitters, even if leader David Cunliffe is a leaf in the wind as he tries to balance what he knows is right and what his backers on the Left of the Labour Party expect.? Read more »

Socialist farmers on the bludge

Looks?like?farmers have a union now. Don’t tell them here in NZ they’ll want one.?Two biggest moaning groups get together.

?The T.P.P. is a battle over what kind of country we want Japan to be,? said Hisaharu Ito, a top official in Aichi Prefecture?s Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, referring to the trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His organization represents some 10,000 full-time farmers who fiercely oppose the trade group.

He added, ?Do we want to turn into a harsh society of winners and losers, or remain a gentler society where benefits are shared??

Is Pizza exempt under Labour’s GST policy?

You might think that this is a silly thing to ask, but it isn’t really. In the US pizza is a vegetable.

Polis mentioned French fries in reference to a provision in the bill that would have blocked the government from limiting servings of white potatoes to one cup per week in meals served through the roughly $18 billion US school meals program overseen by the?US Department of Agriculture.

In addition to potatoes, USDA also proposed limits on starchy vegetables including corn, green peas and lima beans, while requiring lunches to serve a wider variety of fruit and vegetables.

Another provision bars the USDA from changing the way it credits tomato paste, used in pizza. The change would have required pizza to have at least a half-cup of tomato paste to qualify as a vegetable serving. Current rules, which likely will remain in place, require just two tablespoons of tomato paste.

So in the US if a pizza has two tablespoons of tomato paste on it then it qualifies as a vegetable. Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership it theoretically could end up that Pizza is a vegetable through the homogenisation fo rules and standards and therefore under Labour’s GST policy ould be exempt from GST.

×