Republicans whose support he needs to get the deal through Congress are demanding changes. Renegotiating the actual text would be very difficult so they are pushing for side-letters that have a similar effect, and ensuring other countries’ “implementation” plans satisfy the US, either by changes before the Congress votes or as a condition of bringing the TPP into force.
The major US corporate lobbies reinforced that message this week.
In giving conditional support for the agreement they stressed the political imperative to secure changes if the TPP is to pass a Congress over which they wield significant influence.
They have three main targets. First, the tobacco-specific exception that allows governments to block investor-state disputes such as the one Philip Morris brought against Australia’s plain packaging law and lost on a technicality.
Plain packaging is currently stalled in New Zealand.
Second, ensuring the marketing monopoly for new generation biologics medicines is effectively eight years – longer than New Zealand’s and which the Government claims it won’t have to change.
The third relates to requirements for holding financial data within the country.
Kelsey scores an own goal by highlighting how well the NZ negotiators by getting a TPP agreement that didn’t give the US corporates what they wanted. And no amount of side letters can over-ride stuff such as tobacco being exempt from ISDS or the five year term for biologics patent.
As Obama got voted trade authority from Congress, it can not be amended – just a straight up or down vote. If it gets passed by Congress, then we have a TPP on the terms negotiated. If they vote it down, then TPP is dead. I see no chance of a renegotiation.
To add to the hysteria we have Bryan Gould:
A petition has accordingly been drawn up and signatures invited; the petition is to be presented, not to parliament, since that would be pointless, but to the Governor General.
On taking his oath of office, Sir Jerry Mateparae undertook to protect the proper government of this country; the petition invites the Governor General to use his constitutional powers to do just that – to act as a constitutional guardian and to refuse asset to legislation that fails to uphold the rule of law and the principles of responsible government.
So he is promoting a wing nut petition calling on the Monarch’s representative to over-ride the elected Government.
It is a fair bet that the organisers of the petition had no realistic expectation that Sir Jerry would respond positively; all they were hoping for, no doubt, was that he would agree at least to receive the petition and that the resultant publicity would help their cause in some small way.
They think the GG will go out of his way to give their idiocy publicity?