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TPPWatch Bulletin #13 - 8 July 2012


Tim Groser explains the problem of excess sovereignty

Trade Minister Tim Groser gave the clearest statement yet that the TPPA is about conceding sovereignty in a NZ Herald article on 7 July. “Of course trade agreements involve concessions over the sovereign rights of countries to do things … New Zealand's problem had been the "excess sovereignty" other countries had exerted over it. … We needed to control their sovereign right to do whatever suited their fancy. The whole point of international law is to put limits around countries' sovereignty on the basis of negotiated understandings.” So it is now official that the TPPA means ‘controlling’ the sovereignty of other countries, and conceding our own, in a deal that is brokered behind closed doors without any evidence of tangible gains and potentially significant costs.

Two years into TPPA negotiations, another round in San Diego

Yet another round of negotiations began in San Diego this week. It is business as usual – ‘stakeholders’ trying to find out what’s happening behind closed doors in the secretive talks. Continuing the farce of ‘transparency’, the ‘briefing’ on the round was held on the 2nd day, before anything had happened! Even Canada and Mexico who have been accepted as negotiating partners are outside the door while the US conducts a 90 day consultation.

San Diego says ‘no way TPPA’

Protests and events have been taking place, with the Occupy movement and unions making their voices heard in San Diego. See the update on activities; check out the TPPA BAT Signal on facebook, with more to come from the march and rally on 7 July. A report from Jane Kelsey on ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ parts of the San Diego round will be posted on Scoop next week.

Political Backlash in the US

While U.S. trade negotiators are meeting behind closed doors in San Diego, 130 state legislators from all 50 states and Puerto Rico have signed a letter to President Obama's senior trade official warning that they will oppose the deal unless the administration alters its current approach. The press release explains what this means politically.

Bye Bye ACTA, TPPA next?

Copyright has become a huge battleground for international treaties. The TPPA is seen as the backdoor route for the US to achieve what it couldn’t in the recently concluded Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Now ACTA has hit two rocks:

(i) the European Parliament voted by a massive majority of 478 to 39 votes not to support ACTA. See comments from the Australian Digital Alliance

(ii) Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) issued a report highly critical of ACTA. See comments by the Australian Digital Alliance and the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee on the JSCOT report, and their joint submission, and a press release for AFTINET welcoming the Parliamentary committee’s rejection of ACTA and condemning similar proposals in TPPA.

Libraries speak out

The International Federation of Library Associations issued a statement on 4 July expressing concern that agreements like ACTA and the TPPA erode the fundamental balance in copyright law and do not seriously consider and protect the interest of the broader community in having equitable access to knowledge and cultural expression.

Pharmac analysing costs of RPPA

We understand that Pharmac has been asked to analyse the cost implications of the intellectual property provisions of the TPPA on pharmaceutical expenditure.....

TV3 Think Tank on TPPA

View a half hour discussion on the TPPA, featuring activist Mike Smith, NZCTU Maori Vice President Syd Keepa and Prof Jane Kelsey, with John Tamihere on Think Tank, shown on 1 July.

Secrecy in Investment Talks mocks democracy

An Op Ed in the NZ Herald by Jane Kelsey on the leaked investment text generated a  69 comments, with an interesting debate about the investment text. The comment track is worth a read.

The Standard is publishing good stuff about the TPPA and the blogs are interesting too.

Kai Tiaki

Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand ran an article in their June edition about the need for nurses to fight TPP. It is not yet available electronically but access a hard copy if you can.

Public and state sector… possible action???

With the spectacular coverage TPPA has received of late, it makes sense to capitalise on this and organise a campaign, looking at the potential impact on the public and state sectors...If anyone in Wellington could assist, please contact either Michael Stevenson at PPTA or Marilyn Head at NZNO.

Please share TPP activities or good articles:

contact Mary Ellen (the bulletin) and/or Hannah (the website); Facebook page, Stop Stealing New Zealand and websites and  

Thanks! Mary-Ellen O’Connor and Jane Kelsey on behalf of TPPWatch

View this bulletin as a Word or PDF file or onlinehere.

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