TPPA – in whose interests?

In June this year, Prime Minister John Key stated that “New Zealand is never going to sign up to the TPP unless it is in New Zealand’s best interests”. As the TPPA negotiations enter their final stages in Hawaii, these increasingly seem like hollow words. The little information that we have about the draft agreement points to large windfalls for multinational corporations but limited benefits for anyone else. Comments made by the Prime Minister today do not exactly assuage these concerns.

This morning, Mr Key warned that the TPPA would likely lead to longer patents for pharmaceutical drugs. The result would be that drug-buying agency Pharmac would have to purchase more expensive, original versions of medications for longer as opposed to cheaper generic substitutes. According to some of New Zealand’s top medical researchers, the cost to Pharmac could be up to $50 million a year, and in all likelihood would be passed on to patients. In comparison, the supposed gains to dairy from the TPPA are estimated by the US Department of Agriculture to be only around $37 million a year by 2025. How then is it in the “best interests” of New Zealand to pay more for medications in order to fund the ballooning profits of corporations like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline?

This is just the latest in a string of revelations to do with how the TPP might affect Pharmac. Leaked documents obtained by Wikileaks in June revealed that corporations might be able to interfere with Pharmac’s decision-making process. At the moment, our Pharmac system works well precisely because it is independent. Giving companies the ability to interfere would only compromise the ability of Pharmac to obtain cost savings. Indeed, that is precisely why these corporations want such provisions included.

It seems that years of negotiations over the TPPA are about to be concluded. Once they are, New Zealanders will be able to review the TPPA for themselves and judge whether it is in their best interests. The signs are not encouraging.

11 Comments Posted

  1. Comprehensive? Not hardly. Nobody apart from the governments and the corporations involved actually knows what’s in it. Those’d be US corporations…. mostly.

    However, there are a lot of people who are exceedingly pissed off at the PM and there is no reason to imagine that they are wrong to be.

    He wants to bind NZ to a trade deal that entails loss of sovereignty without asking us first.

    The only self-evident hyperbole would be that of those accusing us of it. We’re reflecting the attitudes of the people of New Zealand here.

  2. Conversely we would need a survey to ascertain whether people understand the implications of TPPA , what is on the table and whether to have anything to do with it let alone adopt it.

    The majority of NZ did not want the energy companies to be partially privatised in capital ( but fully corporatised previously public assets ) but the neocons ignored that and did it anyway.

    Do you trust them if so why.

  3. re

    This bunch of greedy neo-cons will force it through . . . . . . despite the objections of most New Zealanders

    So there’s been a comprehensive survey that identified this? can we see the results, or is this just wistful imagining on your part that you are the personal representative of “most New Zealanders”.

    Self evident hyperbole is not a good look for a party that wants to persuade the electorate that it can betrusted and honest

  4. “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”
    ― Adam Smith

  5. I was pleased that this was a topic on RNZ Sunday … and I texted in and had the privilege of having him (Wallace) read on air… (with a brief hesitation when he realized what the next words were).

    “John Key is indistinguishable from a street pimp. There is no virtue of New Zealand he is unwilling to sell”

    The problems her have to do with a drastic neo-liberal distortion of the principle of “comparative advantage” and a misunderstanding of how free-trade works… absent the preconditions that would make it valid theoretically.

    Conditions that would cause the current crop of free-traders heads to explode.

    So what happens when those things aren’t true? The advantages of the “free trade” are reaped by those entities that transcend national boundaries and which can trade off regulatory, tax and legal differences, forcing nations into a “race to the bottom” in order to maintain profits. It gives them immense power, and consider that the leader of Fonterra gets to discuss the TPP, at the table with those ministers… but nobody else in NZ apart from Groser and Key really have a clue what is currently in it.

    The control of the multinational corporations is already evident. The question is whether we are going to have a democracy when Key is done selling us out.

    On current form his actions border on treason.

    However, a great idea about the flag… distract everyone from the real problems here…

    Could solve a lot of the design problems to just make it more like the National Party of New Zealand seems to want New Zealand to be… we’ll just leave some space for advertisements by our corporate sponsors.

    On the flag.

    Yeah… that’s what is for sale.

  6. An interesting point from Oldlux. This bunch of greedy neo-cons will force it through so they can make more money despite the objections of most New Zealanders – who will lose out. Facts show that Maggie Thatcher’s (so-called) “rising tide lifts all boats” trickle down is more a trickle up! If the TPPA is forced through we should pull out when we have a government that puts New Zealand citizens and NZ’s sovereignty first, not foreign corporations and profits. And we (Green Party) should say right now that is what we will do.

    I suggest action you can take on a personal level could include: Dropping John Key, Tim Groser, your local MP, Peter Dunne MP, Wossname Seymour MP (the Act bloke who’s name escapes me) (their emails are all on Parliament’s website) a line saying you are not keen on being ripped off by the TPPA and also get on to your local media (press etc.) making it clear you object.

    Illegitimati non carborundum (don’t let the bastards grind you down!)

  7. Where is he taking us
    – in a nutshell

    The great man of New Zealand
    – the traitor

    He is a leader
    A hidden MISleader

    He is dedicated to people
    Of higher/ CORPORATE class

    He is acting with good intentions
    For WALL Street

    He understands people’s problems
    Of HIS class

    He is a great communicator
    To deliver a LIE

    He respects privacy
    Wears a GCSB WATCH

    He is a good listener
    Will pass TANTRUMS to questions

    He will win any arguments
    RUBBISHes any evidence against him

    He welcomes criticisms
    CAMPBELL is alive

    He has good tactics
    To DECEIVE people

    He has the secret KEY
    to MESS up with people’s life

    He grows NZ export
    Sells NewZea LAND

    He Invented a postal system
    Works part time

    He can sell anything
    At the expense of NZ’s identity and people’s essential facility

    He brought the Rockstar economy
    Through christchurch EQ insurance

    He is transparent
    Like TPP

    He donated NZ Citizens a great Ship
    To ship out our life in TRANSPACIFIC PartnerSHIP

    He works hard
    To create slavery

    He worked hard to bring justice
    To people of Pike and the workers

    He brought BEST deal
    For the mining companies

    He made NZ OPEN
    To be SUED by giant Internet and pharmaceuticals

    He will make healthcare better
    Will give 2 dollars extra for, to be bankrupt PHARMAC

    Who is he Woking for …….
    The people who elected him !!!!!!

    Year 2020, where is NZ in the world map
    – don’t you know that it has been sold to ALIENS

  8. Hi, there is an organised rally in Auckland for those against the TPPA but does anyone know if anything is happening elsewhere? I am in Northland and am keen to protest against it. The Greens need to get labour and nz first to go against this too, it will ruin Nz. Please as politicians get someone tostart doing something otherwise this agreement will be the end of our democracy.

  9. Opposition parties such as the Greens and Labour, and maybe NZ First need to make it clear what they will do if passed by the present Govt. The bottom line is pulling out and they have to have the balls to say this so other Governments signing and Corporates have an idea of the possibility to minimise recrimination if it has to happen. Otherwise present protestation means nothing.

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