Tuesday, January 12, 2016

No benefit from the TPPA

The government has been selling the TPPA as a magic bullet, a guarantee of future prosperity for all. But according to the World Bank, the reality is a little different:

Australia stands to gain almost nothing from the mega trade deal sealed with 11 other nations including United States, Japan, and Singapore, the first comprehensive economic analysis finds.

Prepared by staff from the World Bank, the study says the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership would boost Australia's economy by just 0.7 per cent by the year 2030.

The annual boost to growth would be less than one half of one 10th of 1 per cent.

Other members of the TPP stand to benefit much more, according to the analysis. Vietnam's economy would be 10 per cent bigger by 2030, Malaysia's 8 per cent bigger, New Zealand's 3 per cent bigger, and Singapore's 3 per cent bigger.

An economy 3 percent bigger in 2030 means an annual boost of just 0.2%. Almost all of which will flow to National's farmer-cronies. Prosperity for all? Hardly. And to benefit them, we have to give up democratic control over environmental, employment, and consumer safety law, and hand sociopathic foreign companies a veto on our democracy. And that's just not worth it.

The US does even worse out of the deal, with just a 0.4% boost to their 2030 economy. So why did they sign it? Firstly, distribution: the people who will be getting that 0.4% - Hollywood and pharmaceutical companies - can pay lobbyists. And secondly because of this:
[The TPPA] opens up trade between members but makes trade more difficult with non-members through a process known as "cumulative rules of origin" where members lose privileges if they source inputs from countries outside the TPP.

The Productivity Commission has been strongly critical of the provisions saying that they turn so-called free trade agreements into "preferential" agreements.

And the most important non-member of the TPPA is America's geopolitical rival, China, which will now find itself locked out of Pacific markets (the US has another similar deal for the Atlantic to lock them out of Europe). This was never a trade deal, but a stealth geopolitical alliance against the US's rival. And we should never have agreed to that.