Thursday, May 22, 2014

An agreement for the sake of an agreement

National is saying that they might sign up to the TPP even if it doesn't give us free trade in agriculture:

Trade Minister Tim Groser says New Zealand may be open to a Pacific-wide trade deal that does not abolish tariffs on all agricultural goods.

Efforts to conclude the TPP in Singapore this week failed again, though analysts had not expected any breakthrough.

New Zealand wants full liberalisation in the TPP talks, but Mr Groser insists he's not backing down, saying he will agree on the tariffs only if Japan and the United States prove they can show another way to achieve a high-quality agreement.

But what would be the point of such an agreement? To get it, we'd have to give away Pharmac, allow foreign corporations to dictate NZ policy, adopt US-style IP laws, and secretly extend our copyright term. And in exchange we'd get... nothing. It would be an agreement for the same of an agreement which would actively harm New Zealand. But I guess if it gives the government "trade deal with the US" headlines, they don't care too much about that.