The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership will cost New Zealand a fortune — the extension of its copyright from 50 to 70 years alone will suck NZD55,000,000/year out of its economy — but it's supposed to get the benefit of increased trade with the major powers in the treaty, especially Japan and the USA.
But the treaty's future in those countries is up for grabs. In the US, most of the surviving presidential frontrunners have vowed to block it. In Canada, the new PM has looked askance at it.
Despite this shakiness, NZ Prime Minister and corrupt misogynist strongman John Key is pushing ahead with a legislative agenda to get all of NZ's TPP obligations put in place. This week, an opposition Green Party MP asked the Prime Minister if the legislation would be structured to roll back if the TPP collapses. The PM refused, saying that he would go through with the economic suicide pact even if it turns out to be unilateral.
He seems to be saying that we could be left with several alarming changes to our laws, with absolutely no trade benefit in return. These include:
Raising the threshold at which Overseas Investment Office approval is needed from $100 million to $200 million, making it easier for overseas investors to buy up our farmland and industry.
Changing the length of copyright from 50 years to 70 years, with an annual cost of around $55 million. We'll also need to establish new enforcement powers for Customs, and new civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement.
Changes to the Patents Act, which are likely to complicate Pharmac's access to cheaper medicines.
Changing the Plant Varieties Act, making it harder for farmers to save seeds for use in the following season, and the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act to strengthen the rights of agricultural chemical manufacturers.
Changes to the Tariff Act and the Customs and Excise Act – dropping our tariffs for other TPPA countries.
Changes to the Trade Marks Act.
Jumping the TPPA gun could backfire [Kennedy Graham/Green]