Wednesday 5 August 2015

TPP Denouement

Rob Hosking provides excellent analysis over at The NBR. The main points:

  • Secrecy is necessary in negotiating trade deals
  • Anti-trade activists used the secrecy to conjure wild imaginations of bad things, along with insinuation that National would deem any deal to be acceptable
  • Groser walked away from what looked like a bad deal
  • Maybe there'll be a future deal, but it looks unlikely, and the current version is an ex-TPP.
The New York Times has more, including the complicated bits on auto parts and NAFTA.

There was always a tension between having a good and strong deal among a small set of countries that actually like free trade, and having a much worse deal that included Canada, the US and Japan. I still like the idea of a strong limited deal with easy accession for new entrants willing to sign onto the deal as-is. But my international relations background is limited to half a double-honours degree almost twenty years ago, so down-weight things accordingly. 

I am very glad that New Zealand gets to keep parallel importation. One of my "things I believe to be true but for which I have no real proof" is that parallel importation does a fair bit of work in maintaining competitive retail environments in small markets. 

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