The Dim-Post

July 29, 2015

Nuanced?

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:57 am

Fran O’Sullivan is – as always – very excited that her friend Trade Minister Tim Groser is doing high level serious important trade stuff and meeting important serious people during the TPP negotiations. Although . . .

At the negotiating level, broad support has been stitched up in several areas, notably constraining state-owned enterprises from using soft loans to compete against private companies.

But contentious issues critical to New Zealand’s well-being are yet to be addressed.
Top of the agenda is market access for dairy.

Both Groser and John Key earlier signaled that it would be a deal-breaker for NZ if there was not a high-quality comprehensive result on this score. The position has since become more nuanced.

On TV3’s The Nation’s Groser said it was important as it was 25 per cent of export earnings. “It’ll be a bit light this year because of fallen dairy prices, but it’s typically around that. We’ve got very good deals shaping up in the other areas, and the deal on dairy simply isn’t there yet.

So we’ve conceded on IP, generic drugs, investor state dispute mechanisms and government anti-competition clauses, but haven’t quite gotten around to even asking for anything that we want yet.

I sure would like to play poker with Tim Groser. ‘Right. I’ve given you my house, my savings, my pension scheme, my clothes, my boots and my car keys. Now shuffle the deck and let’s start playing.’

24 Comments »

  1. The TPP will signal an important moment in NZ political history – for the first time in eight decades the ruling party will be isolated on a matter of international diplomacy. Politically this is poison for National. Labour has signalled it will reject the deal, Maori will reject the deal, the Greens will reject the deal, NZ First ill reject the deal. Now, National will probably try and ram through signing the TPP without parliamentary assent – it seems they only need parliament to pass any changes to NZ legislation not agree to the treaty itself – but to not seek some sort of broad agreement involving a solid majority could easily spark a major constitutional crisis, even an early election.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 29, 2015 @ 9:06 am

  2. BTW – for more informed debate –

    http://mfat.govt.nz/Treaties-and-International-Law/03-Treaty-making-process/index.php

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 29, 2015 @ 9:07 am

  3. If we are told that Key/Groser’s position on a supposed absolute deal-breaker, like dairy access, has become more “nuanced”, it surely means that they are about to capitulate totally on that criteria.

    Comment by RJL — July 29, 2015 @ 9:19 am

  4. “for the first time in eight decades the ruling party will be isolated on a matter of international diplomacy”

    Vietnam, nuclear ships, etc etc

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 29, 2015 @ 9:36 am

  5. Obviously, the US will be a huge market for our milk: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-01/milk-spilled-into-manure-pits-as-supplies-overwhelm-u-s-dairies
    Obviously.

    Comment by richdrich — July 29, 2015 @ 9:39 am

  6. “…Vietnam, nuclear ships, etc etc…”

    They were policy disagreements, not matters of treaty. That is why I said eight decades – I think you have to go back to the first Labour government and it’s disagreements with the appeasement policies of the UK for such a fundamental disagreement on treaty matters.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 29, 2015 @ 9:40 am

  7. “Labour has signalled it will reject the deal”

    Yeah, right.

    They’re “signalling” so far is that if they were in charge they would get a better deal. This suggests they are in favour of getting a deal.

    Comment by unaha-closp — July 29, 2015 @ 9:42 am

  8. @unaha-closp – My guess is Labour is split on the deal. As long as the dead wood neolibs stay quiet, Labour will find it politically to it’s advantage to beat National with the stick they’ve already laid out.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 29, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  9. Just where does this “nuanced” come from.

    The article states “The position has since become more nuanced” and then does nothing to back up that characterisation.

    Comment by NeilM — July 29, 2015 @ 10:16 am

  10. “The article states “The position has since become more nuanced” and then does nothing to back up that characterisation.”

    My assumption is that Groser said that so O’Sullivan just wrote it. Seems to be how it works.

    Comment by danylmc — July 29, 2015 @ 10:24 am

  11. @Sanc: Sorry, I was confused because your initial comments didn’t mention treaties.

    The nuclear ships thing was definitely a treaty issue though. ANZUS was (and in theory still is) a treaty.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 29, 2015 @ 10:24 am

  12. While National may be able to sign up to the TPP without needing Parliament’s consent, that adherence will have no domestic legal force without being implemented by Parliament. You can’t take somebody to court for violating an international treaty.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 29, 2015 @ 10:25 am

  13. Groser is a negotiating genius just like Joyce and Brownlee are.

    Comment by Sacha — July 29, 2015 @ 10:37 am

  14. My assumption is that Groser said that so O’Sullivan just wrote it. Seems to be how it works.

    It does annoy me when a journalist slips in such words which in effect are major pieces of editorialisation without putting foward an argument.

    Who needs to come out and explicitly state and argue a position when the passive voice can hide that’s what you’re doing.

    Comment by NeilM — July 29, 2015 @ 11:27 am

  15. @NeilM: “It does annoy me when a journalist slips in such words which in effect are major pieces of editorialisation without putting foward an argument.

    To be fair to O’Sullivan, she probably has an expectation that you will read / comprehend the article to discover the argument.

    Once upon Grosser claimed that for TPP to be viable, for dairy there needed to be a “high-quality comprehensive result”. Now, he’s claiming we will get “what we call commercially meaningful access. I’m not going to be dogmatic about how to define that…”. Hence, Grosser’s position is now “more nuanced”.

    While we are here: note how reluctant Grosser is to define “what we call commercially meaningful access”. This is almost certainly because what we will get is “what no one in their right mind would call commercially meaningful access”.

    Comment by RJL — July 29, 2015 @ 12:26 pm

  16. …to discover the argument.

    She makes no argument.

    Comment by NeilM — July 29, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

  17. @NeilM: So you failed reading comprehension at school?

    Comment by RJL — July 29, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

  18. I keep thinking of the Pineapple Lumps advert.

    Comment by Simon — July 30, 2015 @ 8:50 am

  19. “So we’ve conceded on… investor state dispute mechanisms…”

    We’ve had ISDS provisions in most of our recent agreements, so somehow I don’t think Timmy would see this as a concession

    Comment by SPG — July 30, 2015 @ 3:02 pm

  20. I’m starting to wonder whether the TPP might not become the big mishandled through overconfidence thing for John Key that foreshore and seabed was for Helen Clark.

    Comment by Dr Foster — July 31, 2015 @ 11:58 am

  21. I’m starting to wonder whether the TPP might not become the big mishandled through overconfidence thing for John Key that foreshore and seabed was for Helen Clark.

    No. The Gallery were flown business class to New York, given nice tours and hosted for barbeques and cocktails, and given interviews with Helen. They’re not interested in the TPP right now.* Patrick Gower is practically ejaculatory because Curran forgot to cite some paragraphs in a report.

    *The business journalists are leading on the TPP, and credit to them. They’re usually better at reporting political news.

    Comment by Sneeze — August 1, 2015 @ 9:25 am

  22. /speculation

    I can’t see the Key Government rejecting the TPP even if New Zealand gets bugger all in concessions. New Zealand, unlike in the 1980s, is now an obedient ally of the US. TPP serves greater strategic objectives than trade. It is clearly aimed at containing China. To opt out is essentially saying to the US “We’re not sure we’re with you on the whole rise of China thing”.

    Cabinet will go along because without John Key who knows how popular National would be.

    The wild card is the Federated Farmers. They are enormously powerful and kind of unpredictable. I don’t think they give two hoots about geopolitics either, and I don’t think they would be averse to humiliating National if the TPP doesn’t give them some benefits.

    Comment by Seb Rattansen — August 1, 2015 @ 1:45 pm

  23. The wild card is the Federated Farmers. They are enormously powerful and kind of unpredictable. I don’t think they give two hoots about geopolitics either, and I don’t think they would be averse to humiliating National if the TPP doesn’t give them some benefits.

    It’s been interesting to watch them. They are New Zealand’s privileged industry, receiving large concessions unavailable to other sectors, but they’re not inclined to return the love to National. They’re not owned, certainly.

    Comment by Sneeze — August 2, 2015 @ 8:31 am

  24. I keep thinking of the Pineapple Lumps advert

    Back in the days when I actually watched broadcast TV I hated – viscerally hated – that fucking advertisement. I hated the bastards who invented it even more: let’s portray New Zealanders as friendly, slow morons and associate them with this lolly.

    Turned me off pineapple lumps.

    … receiving large concessions unavailable to other sectors,….

    Do you actually know any farmers? You should attend the Waikato Field Day, and do a stump speech and Q&A about these large concessions.

    I’ll bring the popcorn.

    Comment by tom hunter — August 2, 2015 @ 8:48 am


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