DUNCAN GARNER: Alarm bells for TPP

30/07/2015

The warning bells are ringing loud and clear over the Trans Pacific Partnership.

And here's the central question; what's in this multi-country free trade deal for us? No one can say.

Is it crumbling or is the Government about to pull a rabbit out of the hat?

It appears to be on a knife-edge.

Related: ALISON MAU: On the TPPA, let's not get stitched up like the Aussies 

Related: Why the TPP has fallen over for New Zealand dairy farmers

Related: Gareth Morgan says TPP 'could be John Key's most embarrassing moment'

Related: DUNCAN GARNER: More bad news about the TPPA - now SOEs are under threat

The costs of medicines will rise. The PM has confirmed that.

So what of the benefits?

Supposedly our farmers are about to get mass access to the notoriously protected American, Japanese and Canadian markets.

That was the big prize. A multi-billion dollar gain.

But if the dairy sector is anything to go by we've been told to take a hike by our international mates. They've got cold feet.

Federated Farmers head of dairy, Andrew Hoggard, says his sources on the negotiating committee tell him dairy farmers will gain nothing from the TPP.

The huge barriers and expensive tariffs will remain in place. He says we have lost this battle

This is hugely concerning. The TPP was meant to be the back door way into a free trade agreement with the U.S and Japan. But if it's not a high quality agreement then what's the point of signing up?

NZ has always relied on high quality free trade deals. We have always sought low or no barriers to trade. But this TPP is now looking shoddy. The big countries appear to have retreated into their protectionist holes. They are putting their local and powerful constituencies ahead of the TPP.

If this deal trades away our ability to pass sovereign laws then what's the point? If this deal makes us pay more for drugs then what's the point?

It's well past time for this Government to drop the secrecy and tell us about the good bits if there are any.

If it's all bad news then just confirm it.

I don't believe our Ministers have sought to get us a raw deal.

But maybe other countries have retreated at the 11th hour.

If that's the case we need to be told.

We should not sign a poor deal. We must stay strong to our beliefs.

The public deserves the truth. The game is up. 

Duncan Garner hosts RadioLIVE Drive - 'where content is still king' - weekdays from 3pm.  

source: data archive