Thursday, 22 December 2016

TPP Free Wellington - Final report for 2016

Is TPP dead and buried?

Will Trump renege on his election pledge to bury the TPP? 

It is the grass roots movement that made TPP unpalatable for all the Presidential candidates in the US election, especially when Bernie Sanders came out so strongly against toxic trade treaties.

TPP Legislation in NZ - Key's last act!

One of the Key National Government's last acts was to pass the TPP Amendment Bill, the third and final reading being passed Tuesday 15 November. This despite the overwhelming opposition of the New Zealand democracy.

Petition to the Governor General on TPP

TPP Free Wellington handed over the TPP petition to the Governor General's Official Secretary, 3:30pm Wednesday 16 November, who advised that the GG had assessed and considered it formally as of 21 November.

The TPP Bill went to the Governor General that same 21 November where she signed it into law. That means that the New Zealand Government has succeeded in doing all necessary to bring the TPP into force subject to the necessary coming into force provisions of the TPP agreement signed 4 February 2016. 

The coming into force clause Article 30.5.2 of the TPP text requires that:
"In the event that not all original signatories have notified the Depositary in writing of the completion of their applicable legal procedures within a period of two years of the date of signature of this Agreement, it shall enter into force 60 days after the expiry of this period if at least six of the original signatories, which together account for at least 85 per cent of the combined gross domestic product of the original signatories in 2013 have notified the Depositary in writing of the completion of their applicable legal procedures within this period."

The Coming into force provisions require that at least both the US and Japan join the TPP agreement through their own ratification processes. The US is unlikely to Ratify TPP in its current form. The question is what changes might be proposed to the TPP to get the US through their corporate ruled Congress?

A large question is will Trump renege on his election promise, and persuade the US Congress to ratify the TPP treaty then it likely follows that it will come into force. How likely is this?

Greg Rzesniowiecki 'TPP roadie' provides an outline of this in this blog post:

New Zealand's unresponsive democracy

The fact that most New Zealanders oppose the TPP, and the unwillingness of the Government to listen to the people demonstrates the inadequacy of our Constitutional arrangements. Constitutions are all about determining how state power is administered - if our Government is able to ignore the public opinion then either it is acting unconstitutionally or the constitution is broken! 

Political Insurance for NZ - Labour, Green, NZ First, Maori Parties - we require a commitment that they withdraw from the TPP legislation/treaty.

We need to ensure that the likely new New Zealand Government elected in 2017 commits to withdrawing from the TPP where it gets support from the new US administration after Trump's inauguration in January 2017.

Jane Kelsey speaks to this in this blog:

Where Professor Kelsey states:
"As we reflect on a tumultuous year in the realm of global corporate treaties, we can allow ourselves a brief moment to celebrate the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in its present form. Looking back on the 6-year campaign our overseas allies pay tribute to the leading role we played in Aotearoa. Our combined action across most of the 12 countries ultimately defeated the deal. We need to remind those who attribute this to Trump that it was progressive activists working with Bernie Sanders who put the TPPA at the centre of the US presidential election campaign, forcing Clinton and Trump to follow suit.

"The failure of the TPPA was just one of many signs that this limb of the neoliberal paradigm is in crisis. 2016 saw the paralysis of the US-EU negotiation known as TTIP, well before Trump’s election. The Belgian regional parliament of Wallonia vetoed the ratification of the lesser-known Canada-EU deal (CETA), setting conditions for their approval, leading European activists to embrace the slogan: ‘we are all Wallonians’.

"By then Brexit had thrown the spanner in the works. No one (in their right mind) wants to finalise an agreement with the EU without knowing the status of the United Kingdom, which is the largest market for many parts of those deals."

Which brings us to what is the project for 2017 for the TPP Free movement?

In the above linked article by Jane Kelsey she makes the following observation and call to action in 2017.

"What then do we do next year? This is a long game. We have fought and won battles before – the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), the expansion of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in the World Trade Organisation, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Every time updated versions of the same proposals resurfaced in new forums. There is a fatal tension as obsessive levels of secrecy fuel the crisis of legitimacy.  

"We need to build on 2016 and do what our allies in the US did – force this policy onto the electoral agenda alongside the other life and death questions of poverty, homelessness, safe work and climate change.

"On 3rd February next year – the anniversary of the mass mobilisation against the signing of the TPPA in Auckland – we will be launching the New Zealand campaign to stop TiSA. So have a great break. We have a lot to do next year."

Many thanks for all of your efforts and support - we've had a great 2016!

TPP Free Wellington will take a break over the summer and come back refreshed to confront any further toxic trade and investment treaties.

We will provide timely advice as events transpire and offer further opportunities for Wellingtonians to campaign for our common and public interests.

Happy Summer Solstice, Merry Christmas, A great New Year. See you in 2017 refreshed for the task of holding toxic power to account.

Cheers and thanks on behalf of TPP Free Wgtn

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