Mark - I feel compelled to correct an impression left by your response to Patrick's point 2. You are correct that a corporation may only sue a state under international investment law if there is an applicable treaty in place. But the point Patrick was making is that Australia and New Zealand already have several such treaties in place. For instance, Australia's new FTA with Korea contains such provisions. As does New Zealand's FTA with China, as well as with each and every ASEAN country (save for Australia). So, taken in context, Patrick is quite right, the TPP would not add a new category of legal risk for New Zealand; it would simply extend an existing mechanism further.
And don't get me started on your response to Patrick's point 3. As should be well-known, New Zealand leads the way in including broad public interest exceptions in its FTA investment chapters, precisely in order to preserve regulatory space for government measures. See for instance the NZ-China FTA. You are correct that these have not date entirely excluded from protection investors from particular industries, but they provide protection for all measures taken against any industry.
IMHO, when one is publicly correcting errors, one should be scrupulous and fair with one's own facts.
So, taken in context, Patrick is quite right, the TPP would not add a new category of legal risk for New Zealand; it would simply extend an existing mechanism further
The mechanisms in place do not allow US corporations, where most of the multi-nationals are based, to sue the New Zealand government because we do not have an FTA permitting that with the US. Australia's FTA with the US does not permit it either but, as has been mentioned earlier, their agreement with Hong Kong does, so Phillip Morris registered their office in Hong Kong to take advantage of that. We face the same risk, yes, but it's not a trivial task for a multi-national to do this (and I doubt that any of them want to be a registered Chinese company in order to sue NZ). So it is fair to say that NZ does not realistically face this issue from US corporations at the moment.
New Zealand leads the way in including broad public interest exceptions in its FTA investment chapters"
How is this relevant to the TPP where NZ is not even a heavyweight in the discussions? NAFTA, the US-Korea FTA, and other US-driven agreements all do include clauses that over-ride public interest in favour of the US corporations. Australia managed to resist the investment tribunal provisions, but reports indicate it was a pretty messy battle. If an international treaty is made that includes such clauses, and the NZ government signs it, we will not be able exempt our public interest. Indeed, we will be forced to recast our legislation to comply with it.
when one is publicly correcting errors, one should be scrupulous and fair with one’s own facts.
Pot, kettle, black, sir.
As someone outside of the U.S., I find aspects of this "what is wrong with the TPP in comic form" somewhat ironic.
Forget it. David beat me and I didn’t realise it
GAh. I must read ALL the posts!!!!!
...for comic readers.
lest we forget a homegrown classic of the genre:
Comalco - Power Junky comic.
By Pete Lusk & Ron Currie for CAFCINZ (now CAFCA)
Showing how giving we were back in the '70s and we all know what's gone on since then...
"But the point Patrick was making is that Australia and New Zealand already have several such treaties in place."
To be fair Patrick didn't make this point in his article which was part of the problem with it.
He said that prosecutions could occur without the TPP already which is quite a different statement. The impression was that companies can somehow sue governments as of right and so we don't need to be unduly worried about a trade agreement that contains these provisions.
If the TPPA goes through we will be laid open to the predations of the great corporations – most of whom pay little or no tax if possible – how does that benefit us?
Twenty-six of the most powerful American corporations – such as Boeing, General Electric, and Verizon – paid no federal income tax from 2008 to 2012, according to a new report detailing how Fortune 500 companies exploit tax breaks and loopholes.
The report, conducted by public advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), focuses on the 288 companies in the Fortune 500 that registered consistent profit every year from 2008 to 2012. Those 288 profitable corporations paid an “effective federal income tax rate of just 19.4 percent over the five-year period — far less than the statutory 35 percent tax rate,” CTJ states.
..and the US Government is a bunch of prevaricators – I see The Atlantic has ripped apart the Pentagon’s spin that they were stripping the military back to pre WWII levels…