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Speaker: TPP: Nearing Endgame

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  • 81stcolumn,

    Not all of them are as dramatic as above.

    GM labeling anyone?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Um - what's the point of a free trade agreement if it bans free trade

    The general line is that the TPP is a series of chapters about de-regulating industry in order to facilitate free trade... except for the IP chapter which is all about tight regulation in order to allow companies to own their product until the end of the planet.

    Oddly this means that parts of the TPP contradict. For example the overseas investor part means that (as George mentioned) overseas companies can sue our government in private court should we choose to regulate an industry.

    (Aside: This actually happened in Australia where Philip Morris sued the government for regulation of cigarette packaging. When the local courts didn't work, PM moved all business offshore, declared themselves a foreign company and sued again).

    The IP chapter regulates various industries meaning that implementing the TPP could see the government open itself up to lawsuits from heaps of companies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    (Aside: This actually happened in Australia where Philip Morris sued the government for regulation of cigarette packaging. When the local courts didn't work, PM moved all business offshore, declared themselves a foreign company and sued again).

    Is there a link for that? I'd have thought the courts would throw that one out on the grounds of double-jeopardy (already having had one crack at it).

    I'm surprised that's not the case.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stephen R,

    Is there a link for that? I’d have thought the courts would throw that one out on the grounds of double-jeopardy (already having had one crack at it).

    He's not making it up, though I don't have a supporting link. Aus has a trade agreement with Hong Kong that provides protection against such regulation, at least in theory, so after failing to bring a case for breach of the Australian Constitution around unjust deprivation of property PM shifted action to their new Hong Kong branch and brought suit under the Aus-HK agreement.

    Double-jeopardy is a criminal law concept, not civil law, and is only valid for a single jurisdiction. Since the removal from the Australian federal court system to the WTO's tribunals changed the jurisdiction, even if double-jeopardy was part of the civil law it would still be the first time that the WTO had seen the case.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    He’s not making it up, though I don’t have a supporting link.

    I'm not familiar with this but here's a press release from the Aussie Fair Trade and Investment Network (whatever that is) which more or less repeats what you've just said, after a speedy search:

    "The Philip Morris tobacco company is currently suing the Australian government over its tobacco plain packaging legislation, using an obscure 1993 Hong Kong- Australia investment treaty. Philip Morris is actually a US-based company, but could not sue under the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, because public opposition kept this clause out of the agreement. Philip Morris rearranged its assets to become a Hong Kong investor in order to use an obscure treaty. This shows how giant global companies can abuse such clauses in trade agreements," said Dr Ranald.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    ...to own their product until the end of the planet.

    or at least until we have another world war.
    ;- (

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...to own their product until the end of the planet.

    or at least until we have another world war.
    ;- (

    May well amount to the same thing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    If this is finance sector tantrum-throwing in the here & now, imagine what it would be like under the TPPA in its current form.

    Bank of Tokyo threatened Government

    The Bank of Tokyo threatened the Government with bad publicity and warned of implications for foreign investment if it was forced to take a haircut over Solid Energy, the High Court has heard.

    Solid Energy ran into financial difficulties last year, culminating in a creditors' compromise in September where the terms of debt were reset and the company's bankers agreed to acquire shares with a face value of $75 million, while the Crown would acquire $25m worth.

    The Government's plans to restructure Solid Energy have been challenged by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in the High Court in Auckland.

    Opening the case for Solid Energy, Alan Galbraith, QC, said that in a letter to Treasury the Bank of Tokyo had made threats, including bad publicity, if it were forced to wear losses from Solid Energy.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    May well amount to the same thing

    ...meanwhile, from the far side of the Sun
    two comets are buffeted by solar winds...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Wow, comment spam! Not used to seeing that on PAS.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Yeah that was weird, comment spam now deleted

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Another big TPPA leak, and this time it's about weakening environmental regulations. Who knows how many days it'll take for local media to report it. I've tweeted a couple of TPPA loyalists for their 2c worth.

    - ABC: The environment would pay for 'free trade'
    - NYT: Administration Is Seen as Retreating on Environment in Talks on Pacific Trade

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    this time it’s about weakening environmental regulations.

    That’s not really accurate. It’s about not tightening environmental regulations.

    ETA: What's particularly curious is that everyone else, even NZ, is resisting the tighter language. What's up on WikiLeaks doesn't really go into enough detail to know why that is.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    From today's Granny: Leak reveals ongoing TPP tussles

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    truth to power (companies)...
    This seems the most recent and appropriate thread to post this glimpse into our future:
    German city buys its electricity grid back... due to citizens referendum.

    More than 200 power grids and water systems have been bought by local administrations in Germany since 2007, according to VKU, the German federation of local utilities.

    Clever old John Key, bucking the trend, eh?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    What the Hector!?
    I see this story in The Christchurch Star’s odd print-based retrieval system (and only real web portal for information that they have)
    Councillors stunned by Govt drilling proposal
    Can’t find it anywhere else, yet…

    Simon Bridges knowingly includes a mere ‘just 10%’ of Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary in area to be tendered for offshore drilling…


    PS: read the article next to it about the driver who sparked a road chase after giving fingers to police – charged with “wreckless driving” – as I thought we all were!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Can’t find it anywhere else, yet…

    Here it is... via The Press

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Clever old John Key, bucking the trend

    You can't buy it back if you don't sell it. And guess whose buddies clip the ticket both ways.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Campaigners against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations want the negotiating texts made public to help ensure the process fails, says Trade Minister Tim Groser.

    Translation: "Explaining is losing."

    And already, US Senate Leader Harry Reid has vetoed fast-tracking for the TPPA.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson,

    “Anything worthwhile in life, as any adult with adult experience knows, when you’re trying to get people to shift positions or agree on something which they’re not comfortable with, requires discretion,” said Groser.

    *snort*

    Groser clearly has an interesting negotiating technique.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

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