TPPWatch Action Bulletin #14 – 29 July 2012

TPPA Circus – Next stop Leesburg in September

The San Diego round came and went – apologies, the debrief is still wending its way from Jane Kelsey’s laptop.  It will be on Scoop later this week, and linked in the next bulletin. For great photos click. For now, see KEIOnline account. The next stop is Leesburg, near Washington DC, from 6-15  September. They are still talking about closing off chapters by the end of the year – meaning all but the big political issues for governments to trade off. But a speech from the US Chamber of Commerce head said talks were unlikely to conclude before late 2013, or even 2014.

Hot issues

This is pre-election time for Obama so hugely sensitive issues like medicines and a tobacco exception were off the table. Other areas of intellectual property remain stalled, with standoffs on others, notably Australia’s refusal to accept investor-state enforcement. Countries are still scrambling to assess US proposals on state enterprises. Some new issues emerged – e-commerce and cross-border services, which may be another route to restrict regulation of digital content, offshore financial services and data storage; new proposals for exceptions; climate change …

“Fair Deal Coalition” on Copyright Launched

A brilliant new campaign has been launched by InternetNZ, NZRise, TUANZ, Consumer, and many other groups, with lots of action suggestions on http://fairdeal.net.nz/.“The Fair Deal campaign is about keeping the Trans Pacific Partnership from changing our copyright laws. A Fair Deal is one that opens up new trade opportunities without forcing us to make copyright law changes that would take a major toll on New Zealand.”

LIANZA (the Library and Information Systems of Aotearoa) warned of the impact on libraries and users, while Palmerston North Digital Services librarian Warrick Taylor said rumoured copyright changes would be a “tragedy” for the city library. NZ Royal Foundation for the Blind says the TPP could negatively impact blind and partially sighted New Zealanders.

NZ College of Public Health Medicine Speaks out

The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine ‘calls for openness and transparency in debating the potential health impacts of any free trade agreements such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), particularly on critical areas such as pharmaceutical pricing mechanisms, climate change mitigation and other environmental policy, and public policy.

US Told HIV-AIDS Won’t Go Away with TPPA

US trade officials plan a tiki tour around TPPA capitals, including NZ, to put pressure on and broker a deal on the meds issues. The USTR is under real political pressure as most countries reject their demands, members of US Congress are outraged, and the Global HIV/AIDs conference descended on Washington, protesting outside the White House. Doctors Without Borders released a report on how TPPA will severely restrict access to live-saving medicines, as did UNAIDS.  See also Radio Australia 5 minute interview of US meds specialist Peter Maybarduk, an article from Kelly Nichols of MSF in Canberra Times, and challenge to Hillary Clinton’s optimism about an end to Aids, if the TPPA comes into being. And ROCK THE TPP (online soon)

Meanwhile former ACT MP Heather Roy for NZ PhRMA pretended it had told its US counterparts to back off – but really was just running the same line about need for ‘transparency’, ‘due process’ and ‘science based decisions’ that US PhRma has been arguing since TPPA began.

Climate change hits the TPPA Agenda

A new issue hit the talks in San Diego, with 3 proposals on climate change. There is still not a lot of information. Peru’s proposal appears to genuinely address the issue. New Zealand’s proposal reportedly has two parts: 1) Aspirational language stating that countries should try to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, which essentially reiterates past G-20 commitments; and 2) Aspirational language stating that TPPA countries reaffirm the benefit of pricing carbon with a view towards establishing a regional carbon trading system. This seems to align with NZ’s desire to generate an alternative trading system that doesn’t rely on the Kyoto regime.

Key responds to Big Tobacco Threats, yet Denies Risks of TPP 

The consultation document on plain packaging tobacco was released last week. The Regulatory Impact Statement said the cost to defend a WTO case could be $1.5-2million, and an international investment dispute $3-6 million each party (a serious underestimate). Sadly, PM Key was bowing to pressure from the start, saying he would not die in the ditch for the policy. Asked about the TPPA, Key said it wasn’t yet known if it would be an issue and ‘like any negotiation, there’s give and take, so the overall way that the government will look at it is, is it in New Zealand’s best interests to negotiate and complete the TPP’, ie. Fonterra’s interests will trump. Labour’s leader David Shearer seemed to back him, contradicting criticisms of John Key’s position by Clare Curran. This is just the beginning. Jane Kelsey will speak on trade and investment agreements and tobacco control in Auckland 5.15pm 9 August.

Hear Labour’s stance on the TPP

Wellington Central MP and Labour Deputy Leader Grant Robertson will be delivering a short speech on “Labour’s stance on the TPP” at 5pm on Friday 3rd August at the PPTA Offices, Level 5, 60 Willis St, Wellington.

The event is sponsored by Unions Wellington.

There will be free food and a bar with $5 drinks, all proceeds to a workers’ cause.

All welcome to attend.

News Stories

Please share TPPA activities or good articles:

contact Stephen Parry stephenparry1985@gmail.com; Facebook page, Stop Stealing New Zealand and websites www.tppwatch.org and tppdigest.org


View this bulletin as a Word or PDF file or online here

View previous bulletins here: Bulletin 13, Bulletin 12, Bulletin 11, Bulletin 10, Bulletin 9, Bulletin 8, Bulletin 7, Bulletin 6, Bulletin 5, Bulletin 4, Bulletin 3, Bulletin 2, Bulletin 1

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