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Leaked TPP text puts NZ's economic future at risk - lobby group

The leaked copy of the Trans Pacific Partnership confirms the Fair Deal Coalition’s fears that New Zealand is facing aggressive moves from the US in the fight to protect New Zealand's economic future through maintaining a fair copyright framework, the Fair Deal Coalition says.

The coalition was formed in July last year. Its members include NZX-listed Trade Me, Internet NZ, Consumer NZ, and centre-right blogger David Farrar. It wants New Zealand to stay strong in areas like copyright and patents - areas where US interests are applying pressure; pressure some fear Trade Minister Tim Groser will yield to as he seeks to maintain or extend access for agricultural exporters.

Members see risks to New Zealand's progressive parallel importing and patent laws, and in specific industry areas - such as lobbying by US "big pharma" interests - that might restrict market access for New Zealand's low-cost generic drug maker Douglas Pharmaceuticals.

Fair Deal Coalition spokesperson Susan Chalmers says the text shows that the New Zealand negotiators have been fighting for a sensible position that would serve New Zealand well.

“Chief negotiator David Walker and his team are to be applauded for fighting for what is best for New Zealand’s sensible and balanced copyright framework. It is a shame the United States wants the opposite, but that is what the leaked text shows,” Ms Chalmers says.

“Negotiators are showing they understand New Zealand is a net importer of copyright goods and that our copyright law needs to suit our needs. If we accept what the US has put on the table then this country would be severely limiting future opportunities to innovate, remix, create and distribute content.

"In short, New Zealand would be trading away our digital future - all for potentially improved access to US markets, which could take years and years to happen.

“If the US gets what it wants, New Zealand will be facing higher copyright costs and reduced access to content both online and off.

“The long-term economic prospects New Zealanders can build with fair intellectual property law will be damaged if the TPP goes ahead with this Intellectual Property chapter in place,” Ms Chalmers says.

Comments and questions

Stay strong guys. Do not bend over for these US crooks! Our future is in your hands so keep that top of mind.

Could not agree more.

Let's just hope Key does not roll over on the promise of future employment. Of course, any opposition will naturally be deemed to be "politically motivated" or "ill informed".

may be wildly romantic (or just naive) to think that we might be accorded a bit more respect; haven't we stood shoulder to shoulder with the Americans in every major war since they bothered to turn up in France in 1917? North Africa, The Italian Campaign, The Pacific Theatre, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf I and II, Afghanistan. Do they all count nothing? Tell them to go get stuffed.

The American's don't think like that. They only thing they care about is money. And when you understand that basic tenet of the American psyche, then you can do business with them.

Why are trade talks so secret!!!

I want to live in a world where government is totally transparent and my personal life is totally private, but at this point in time it is exactly the opposite. Government is secret and your personal life is monitored more closely than ever before.


And anyone who reveals this with facts is labelled a traitor...

Given what is proposed i would have expected the NZ delegation to have walked out

Lets not forget which country embraced the neo liberal madness in the late 70's ...outdid Thatcher .....looking at you kiwis .. TPP is a done deal

“Chief negotiator David Walker and his team are to be applauded for fighting for what is best for New Zealand’s sensible and balanced copyright framework.

Quite right too.

As you know, Stephen, the issue is not what our negotiators are working towards - if it's not our best interests, then they're not doing their jobs. The issue is that *it's only because of leaks* that we know what's happening. That is abhorrent. We should abandon these negotiations until the text of all the partnership documents is visible, in its entirety, to the public. Anything less is anti-democratic.

The detail of these talks should be televised so that everyone, regardless of party persuasion can clearly see how dodgy the yanks are. We shouldn't sign up to anything with them. After the Dotcom fiasco I do not trust them at all.

Obama barely has the ability to even get a budget through Congress so he is not going to get a Free Trade agreement through unless it is strongly favouring US interests. On that basis why not just proceed with the other (ie non US countries) most of whom are much closer to NZ, and tell the US to comback and seek to join under the next administration, when they can negotiate with a fast track authority. Otherwise we (NZ and other countries) will simply be held to ransom, with no certainty the US can deliver at the end.

If you want to live in a corporatist world, go ahead sign this, but I don't, I want a world where the little guy can still get ahead pursuing his own endeavours and enterprises, not one where we are all just cogs in the wheel of the foreign corporates. It is bad enough now, and pretty much needs a "u" turn to get back to where we need to be
I think we are being bamboozled by all this talk of jobs, jobs, what about some thought for little capitalism, that is the only path to prosperity and I don't mean hoarding enough money for a dozen lifetimes
Get out of this now, while you still can Groser

Why so much secrecy surrounding the TPPA? Because explaining is losing.

As it stands, the TPPA is no FTA. It's more akin to a 21st century East India Company.

These comments only justify negotiating in secrecy until all the details are agreed. Every NZ lobbyist named has a vested interest in their view prevailing.

That means trusting the Minister to do the right thing and not cave in to US pressure. The Government's track record does not assure me that they have the resolve to fight for NZ. They always seem to be playing the short-term game, whereas a deal like this is for the long-term.

Too right, Sarki. Our negotiators might be holding the line for now (or so the scant leaked evidence suggests) but at some point they are likely to reach an impasse if they continue to do so. At that point, no doubt, the politicians will get involved. I suspect we'll see quite a bit more "expedience" - to our detriment - if/when that happens.

And we won't be able to hold the current government to account because the details of the TPPA won't be known until after the *next* election, at which point no one can be held accountable (as those who've properly "feathered their nests" by pandering to the right people will be on cushy junkets with the foreign service somewhere).

Remember, it's the yanks (and I say this with appropriate ex-pat embarrassment) who've required the secrecy surrounding these talks - isn't it hypocritical that the purveyors of democracy actively refuse to live up to their own ideals when negotiating with other democracies.

A debate on TPP in the US.

My big concern is that with our present government we are far more vulnerable to US pressure. We have a PM who is patently angling for US recognition, probably after he finishes up here,l and will expect his big reward from Washington

Lindsay is so right - all these fatuous comments for Wannabees who think they know better are precisely the reason that the negotiations, like all negotiations need to be conducted in private , precisely when as we now know that the negotiators are holding the line and doing a mighty fine job thus far. At least give them the benefit of the doubt

Graeme - your blind trust in our politicians is admirable (well, actually it's not), but I think it both rich and ad hominem for you to be labelling as "Wannabees" those who are reminding our politicians that transparency in foreign policy is not a negotiable point in a democracy. Your point that "like all negotiations be conducted in private" is an unsupportable assertion - we're not asking for public negotiations, or for the positions of the negotiators to be public, we're asking for the documents under negotiation to be public. Quite different.

I will also point out that, in a democracy, the obligation for vigilance rests with the citizens, which we are. In this particular democracy, if we're not calling our politicians to account, who does? If you disagree, I recommend that you seek out a country with a more appealingly autocratic regime. I hear North Korea is where it's at these days.