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Speaker: TPP: Nearing Endgame

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  • Hadyn Green,

    oops! I left editing notes in the document, fixing now!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The proposal to allow patents on medical procedures is extremely wide. Such laws cover 'any procedure not performed with bare hands', as surgeons groups have put it. They add huge costs to US medical care, and would impose those same costs on any other country that had to pay them. They stifle innovation, and harm human health.

    The stifling effects on all sectors of the economy would be large. For example, long patents on chemicals would prevent New Zealand's farmers from being able to use the best and most productive products for the care and improvement of their plants and livestock. The lack of public consideration of the downstream effects across society and across the economy is concerning.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to George Darroch,

    long patents on chemicals would prevent New Zealand's farmers from being able to use the best and most productive products for the care and improvement of their plants and livestock

    Not prevent so much as alter the benefit:cost equation such that they might not be financially viable. Which is unlikely given NZ's reliance on agriculture, unless either the world price for milk bottomed (which is very unlikely) or the licensee was seeking particularly exorbitant rents for their monopoly.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Australia though is the US’s closest ally.

    I’m not finding this totally surprising. There are obvious similarities with NZ, but it always felt like a much more Americanised culture than NZ during the few years I was living there. Maybe something about all the levels of government, the tax return process (heaps of people pay someone else to do it for them), aspects of the health system and the insurance industry, the list goes on. My experience probably varies from others.

    Let’s be clear about something: signing the TPP in its current form is letting a foreign country (the US) and the foreign companies that lobby it write the law in this country.

    In my head I now keep wanting to compare this with the SkyCity arrangement, except for the difference between corporation and foreign government (acting as an agent for its corporations). Is it a fair comparison? In that sense signing the TPP in its current form would not necessarily seem to be without precedent for the current government, but agree that it would be a more demonstrable sell-out if the leak of our current position is anything to go by.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to izogi,

    I’m not finding this totally surprising. There are obvious similarities with NZ, but it always felt like a much more Americanised culture than NZ during the few years I was living there. Maybe something about all the levels of government, the tax return process (heaps of people pay someone else to do it for them), aspects of the health system and the insurance industry, the list goes on. My experience probably varies from others.

    I'd say that it has more to do with the political culture of the people in the two main parties and their affinities and allegiances and ideas, than it has to do with anything else. Interestingly, that hasn't weakened over time.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to George Darroch,

    I'd say that it has more to do with the political culture of the people in the two main parties and their affinities and allegiances and ideas, than it has to do with anything else.

    Well and the fact that AU and US have a FTA already in place. And from what I understand the TPP is largely similar to that FTA

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • The Ruminator, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    That's exactly right. The copyright regime the US is trying to shove down everybody's throats is almost identical to the one in the Australian FTA.

    The extra 20 years for copyright after death has been estimated to cost Australia about $88 million a year. They'll also be able to veto parallel importing.

    It's actually really appalling stuff once you look into it.

    Ruminator sad.

    Since Apr 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    And from what I understand the TPP is largely similar to that FTA

    IOW, Australia is taking the position "We got fucked, so now we're going to try and make sure you get fucked too."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    "fair trade" :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    "from what I understand the TPP is largely similar to the Oz FTA"
    IOW, Australia is taking the position "We got fucked, so now we're going to try and make sure you get fucked too."

    Actually, Australia stands to get even more fucked by the TPP, there are a few places where the Aus agreement does not go as far as the FTA. Grey imports are legal in Oz, for example, as is unlocking and region-free playback. The maximalists are obviously unhappy about this, as are (eg) local cellphone outlets who have to compete with HK online outlets.

    And remember that Oz and NZ negotiate together on a lot of pharmaceutical purchases, and that's another hot topic with the corporations who are driving the TPP.

    This is not actually about the US vs everyone else, it's a treaty negotiatated by nations on behalf of international corporations, it's just that the US is the most egregiously corporate state. But US-the-country will get screwed by the treay just as surely as everyone else, but the marginal increase will be smaller because they're already very screwed. It's US-the-corporate-haven that stands to win big if the treaty is signed.

    Just look at the "corporate right to sue nations" stuff and ask yourself how this could possibly be in the interested of the US-the-nation. The only way to "win" there is to make, and keep, your laws so corporate-friendly that there's no possible grounds for a court case. "win".

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Moz,

    The only way to “win” there is to make, and keep, your laws so corporate-friendly that there’s no possible grounds for a court case. “win”.

    You mean, much in keeping with the current situation, then?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    You mean, much in keeping with the current situation, then?

    More so. It's all about incrementally boiling the frog. The game is "just how much can we take before they revolt". And the answer seems to be that our parliament is not revolting.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Moz,

    the answer seems to be that our parliament is not revolting.

    Was more meaning the US than us, but certainly elements of both parliaments are revolting. It's just that, both there and here, it's the minorities in the empowered bodies that are revolting. In the US it's the Republicans who are gagging to seal the TPP deal, and they control the House, and in NZ it's National who are desperate to sell us out and they're the ones who control the Executive. That it's the presidentially-aligned Democrats who disapprove of the President's stance on completing the deal is merely an amusing footnote.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton,

    I don't want to be unkind to the writer, especially being quite new to this blog, but this really is a boring topic. I doubt a TPP can be signed that would be acceptable to free trade countries (NZ, Singapore etc) and if it were acceptable to us, then the US Congress and Japanese Diet would never ratify it. Let's talk about things that are real, like rape, or when we first went up a concert, or John Banks' legal problems, or ....

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Mate, the Tea Party Republicans are totally against this deal. You, Jane Kelsey and they are allies in this matter!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    I don’t want to be unkind to the writer, especially being quite new to this blog, but this really is a boring topic. I doubt a TPP can be signed that would be acceptable to free trade countries (NZ, Singapore etc) and if it were acceptable to us, then the US Congress and Japanese Diet would never ratify it.

    "But they'll never ratify it!" isn't all that reassuring ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Mate, the Tea Party Republicans are totally against this deal. You, Jane Kelsey and they are allies in this matter!

    As well as cyber-snooping gone mad, corporate welfare gone mad, drone assassinations gone mad...

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

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    this really is a boring topic

    Can't tell if trolling but... I do sometimes wonder if that's why the media haven't done much on this. OpEds and stories in the political section of the paper don't get much traction. We need the clickbait headlines:
    The Government is signing a secret deal to make your DVD player illegal!

    Find out why Tim Groser thinks you should pay more for medicine

    The Warehouse set for record loss under new Govt deal

    US film studios set to write New Zealand law... again!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    M.A.D. …

    As well as….

    Cognitive dissonance to burn!
    Listening to the American politicians on the Iran Nuclear issue is maddening – they ‘don’t trust Iran’ – but who would (could) trust the masters of subterfuge and duplicity, aka the U.S.?
    Once again all the news on TV says how Israel is upset at the moves, but the fact they never mention is that Israel is the mad dog rogue nuclear state in the region (unfettered by the very oversight they, and the Americans. demand for Iran).
    Being the big proponents of Mutually Assured Destruction one would think the Americans would welcome the balance of Iran having Nuclear weapons (even though the Iranians are only trying to create a Nuclear Power industry, thus far)
    - oh, but then there’s the oil….

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I can't tell if Matthew Hooton is trolling either. And if he is trolling, is it because his clients think this is a boring agreement, or because his clients think this is an exciting agreement. I'm not going to assume anything.

    I'm going to have to skim over the chapter again. There's understandable interest in copyright provisions, and access to pharmaceuticals, but the provisions would seem to go much wider than that.

    I'll give my understanding of the import of the deal:
    For example, say that New Zealand's condoms started catching on fire. An ordinary government would impose a regulatory solution to ensure that all New Zealanders were safe, and that poorly designed or defective petrol pumps no longer caused harm. If these requirements were seen to be onerous by US (or Australian or Malaysian et al.) condom manufacturers, they might seek to invoke the disputes resolution mechanisms of the agreement (as yet unpublished), and argue that these are conditions being imposed which make it more difficult for their businesses to operate. Tipping a 'level regulatory playing field', if you will. If the TPPA resembles other agreements, countermeasures may be imposed on New Zealand if it refuses to budge on non-flammable condoms.

    There are plenty of reasons for governments to regulate in the public interest and create restraints on trade. Not all of them are as dramatic as above. But they are all made by the democratic representatives of the people, in the interests of the people, and are tested through regular elections. It is this thwarting of the democratic imperative that concerns me, not least because I believe that very robust international trade flows are possible without absolute regulatory synchronicity.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "But they’ll never ratify it!” isn’t all that reassuring …

    Fortunately New Zealand’s parliament is very compact, efficient and effective at getting legislation passed when compared with some of these other ones, so we can be sure to uphold our side of the bargain no matter what problems the US and other governments might have in pushing their own sides through.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Pete,

    Matthew Hooton is ALWAYS trolling

    Since Apr 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    For example, say that New Zealand’s condoms started catching on fire. An ordinary government would impose a regulatory solution to ensure that all New Zealanders were safe, and that poorly designed or defective petrol pumps no longer caused harm.

    We clearly have different uses in mind.. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to The Ruminator,

    They'll also be able to veto parallel importing.

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

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Sacha,

    We clearly have different uses in mind.. :)

    Whoops. Changed horses halfway through there, and then pressed print instead of preview.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

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