I agree with the Labour Party on the TPP.
Well, some of what it is saying anyway. Actually, to be more accurate, some of what Andrew Little is saying, because everyone else in his Caucus seems to be trying to cover all sides of the argument, all of the time.
My favourite trick at the moment is to ask people if they can explain to me what the Labour Party position on TPP actually is. So far out of 25 people (including MPs, media and activists) no one has been able to.
No, I agree with Andrew Little when he says it would be crazy for New Zealand to pull out of the TPP once it takes effect. He is absolutely right.
So Little is for parts of TPP, against parts of TPP, will vote against it, but won’t pull out of it, and says NZ should just ignore parts of it we don’t like but will be outraged if any other country did the same.
Over the summer period, I took the opportunity to listen quietly to what real New Zealanders, not the vocal protestors, were saying. Their message is mixed. They hear the government’s story about the trade opportunities arising from the TPP, and while, on balance, they are a little sceptical, they tend to see that as positive. They do worry about sovereignty issues, but note that every agreement we have signed up to, including membership of the United Nations under Peter Fraser and the World Health Organisation, has involved sovereignty issues, and there has never been a problem.
I look forward to Labour explaining how the Kyoto Protocol wasn’t a huge breach of our sovereignty.
Others have wanted to know how come it was acceptable for New Zealand to take Australia to the World Trade Organisation over its restrictions on our apple exports, but not acceptable for similar provisions to apply here.
NZ is more likely to benefit from provisions that allow disputes to be arbitrated, as we generally are in the right.