Heads up! TPPA Mass mobilisation mid-November

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Obama has set mid-November as the new target for a deal on the TPPA.

Heads up! Mass mobilisation mid-November

It won’t be the final text. Indeed, who know what it will be! But the timing coincides with a series of summits where the political leaders of the 12 countries will be together: APEC meeting in China, the East Asian Summit in Burma/Myanmar, and the G20 in Brisbane. We are picking around Monday 11th, so that means action on the 8th or 9th. That gives us four months to build the networks to make if politically impossible for whoever is in government to do a deal.

Making TPPA an election issue

Both major parties are likely to want TPPA off the election agenda, so we’re relying on you to make sure it is centre stage! In a couple of weeks we’ll have kitset of electoral information and questions (general and party-specific) to candidates and parties during their campaign. Any volunteers to help with this work would be great!!! We’ll keep you posted.

Nelson LGNZ picket

Our team in Nelson will be holding a picket at the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Conference, which is taking place at Rutherford Hotel in Nelson on Tuesday 22 July at 8:30am. Prime Minister John Key will be speaking at 9:00am so it would be great if as many people as possible could get down there and make their thoughts heard. Please email our Nelson team for more info.

Auckland picket at Groser speech

On 5 August at 5:30pm the American Chamber of Commerce and the Canada New Zealand Business Association are hosting Tim Groser to give an update on TPPA – for their members at a fee! There are plans for a picket outside the venue of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade office (139 Quay St, Auckland). We’ll send more info in the next bulletin, and on the facebook and website. Please get in touch with Edward Miller if you’d like to be involved.

Wellington activists’ alert

The Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce is hosting a similar lunch on Wednesday 23 July 2014 at the CQ Hotels Wellington, 213-223 Cuba Street, Wellington.

Wanganui District Council shuts down TPPA petitioners

Great work by the Whanganui crew who presented the local government petition to the Council and filled the chamber to present it. The Mayor basically moved a motion to support the petition, but four councilors deliberately stayed outside the council chamber during the presentation so there was no quorum! The story was written up in the Wanganui Chronicle.

GCSB – including links to TPPA

Meeting to highlight the GCSB during the election, including links to TPPA. Monday 11th August – 1pm at Auckland University Quad - 7pm at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall.

TPPA developments

TPPA’s secret squirrels just met in Ottawa

The bizarre secrecy continued with the latest ‘non round’ in Ottawa last week. First the Canadian government shifted the meeting from Vancouver – they deny it was to avoid planned protests. Then they refused to say where they were meeting in Ottawa. Locals set up signs outside the Delta hotel saying ‘secret negotiations here’! MFAT refused to release the dates, saying it would breach confidential information provided by another government!

What did they decide in Ottawa?

There was heaps of pressure, due to Obama’s new deadline – but a continued stalemate between the US and Japan on agriculture means no political decisions are being made. Groser continues to play hardball. See Jane Kelsey’s summary and Gordon Campbell’s take on it.

Japan’s PM in Wellington

John Key was all gung ho standing alongside Obama in Washington: Japan must give up all its agriculture tariffs, even if that takes 30 years. If Prime Minister Abe doesn’t like it, Japan should quit the TPPA. Then Abe came to Wellington … Key still insisted that New Zealand expected full liberalisation, but no suggestion that Japan should shove off. Abe said Japan added ‘strategic’ value to the TPPA. Fran O’Sullivan captured the political realities: ‘PM lets little NZ know his country is calling the shots.’

Australia-Japan deal released: no gold standard here!

The FTA that Australia stitched up with Japan some months ago was released when Abe visited there last week. It shows the Aussies have taken whatever they could get. Groser and the NZ ag industry are hopping mad. A NZ Herald editorial accused Australia of not being a team player – and said NZ should walk away from a similar deal!

Key & Groser mixed messages

While Key says Japan must give up everything (and never mentions that the US won’t be doing so) Groser has been trying to play down expectations of a comprehensive deal! Maybe this is a clever strategy so they can have it both ways. Or maybe Key just changes his story depending on which country’s leader he’s sharing the stage with!

What’s up Offshore

Our Fair Deal Coalition opposes 70 years copyright

TPPA plans to extend the copyright term by another 20 years in countries like New Zealand, where it already covers the life of the author plus 50 years. The 'Our Fair Deal’ coalition presented an open letter open to negotiators that condemned the threat to libraries, archives, creators and consumers from locking away materials that should be in the public domain.

Canada’s Opposition condemns secrecy

Canada’s equivalent of David Cunliffe told CBC the TPPA talks too secret. But his solutions were woosie, much like Labour’s. Rather than demanding release of the drafts now so they can be analysed and debated before it’s too late, they want confidential access for MPs, broad consultation and progress reports. Better than nothing, but not democratic and not enough.

Malaysia’s Mahathir: a strong leader will turn down the TPPA

The still-powerful former Malaysian PM Mahathir twisted the current PM’s comment that Malaysia needed strong leaders, saying the TPPA is colonial tool of foreign powers and he should walk away.

Wikileaks reveals TISA

As if TPPA alone wasn’t bad enough, in Wikileaks has released the financial services part of the text to the secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). TISA is being negotiated in secret by 23 rich country parties, including NZ, to force more market approaches to services and lock them in. According to the global union Public Service International this deal will put public healthcare, broadcasting, water, transport and other services at risk. Preliminary legal analysis of the leak suggests it will lock in the failed model of financial deregulation that brought about the global financial crisis.

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