Canada scuttles Australia’s TPP bid

By Leith van Onselen

When final negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement failed in Hawaii in late-July, proponents of the deal were hopeful that negotiators could come together and strike-up a deal by the end of August, prior to Canada going to the polls and before the US political system gears-up for next year’s Presidential Election.

With that date now passed, it looks as if the TPP could finally be ‘dead and buried’ – a view confirmed today via The Australian Dairy Farmer, which claims that Canada’s refusal to give ground on dairy protection has helped scuttle the deal:

A frustrated Trade Minister Andrew Robb is still trying to sound optimistic but can only sigh about opportunities missed as both Canada and the US head into high election mode.

He will almost certainly win an increasingly vigorous fight against the union campaign (inexcusably backed by Labor so far) to sink the China free trade agreement.

But a multilateral trade deal involving 12 countries is receding into the background, probably permanently.

Canada’s not the only trade culprit, of course. The resistance of the Harper government to making concessions on dairy still had a powerful domino effect during the crucial and final TPP bargaining in Hawaii in July.

So much for the idea of a 21st century agreement to set new rules in areas such as intellectual property and services. In the end, old-fashioned agricultural protectionism has proven far more powerful.

It meant the US was unwilling to reduce its barriers without a commitment from Canada, leaving New Zealand also refusing to back down from more access to US, Canadian and Japanese markets.

Thank you Mr Harper for effectively scuttling the TPP negotiations, which means that Australians will not face rises in medicine costs nor increased litigation from multinational corporations taking action under investor-state dispute settlements clauses embedded into the agreement.

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Unconventional Economist


    • Correct. And then put the heads of all those assholes who deramed these treasonoud schemes up, on sticks.
      Not all that long ago, before commerce ruined morality, these guys would have been publicly strung up.
      Sooner or later the punters have to realise most of what a delegation such as a Govt proposes is not in the public interest, but in the interest of those pulling the strings. WW

    • Yes, lets be thankful for small mercies and yes, very important the China FTA does not go ahead where terms within it that may lead to foreign workers displacing Australian workers willing and able to do certain jobs. The Federal Government argue that can not happen because such terms must be incorporated into Australian law. What they fail to mention is that it can be argued that at international law Australia is obligated to incorporate those terms into Australia law once the agreement is ratified. One must ask, why would China being insisting on such terms unless it thought there was such an obligation other than maybe hoping some future traitorous Australian government will incorporate such terms. The truth is, I think that the present government would incorporate such terms if it had the votes in the Senate. Seemingly there are even Labour members who have no problem with proposed terms. Discussing state of affairs.

  1. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Lieth, While you thank mr Harper for saving Australian consumers.
    I liked the line, “In the end, old-fashioned agricultural protectionism has proven far more powerful.” and am thankfull to that protectionism for the saving of many working class jobs here.

    It a pity, said workers,had to rely on “foreign” protectionism.

  2. There’s too much profit at stake for this ever to fully die. It will rise from the grave, perhaps a little rotted, a finger or two missing here and there, bandages and soil disguising the corpse, perhaps even renamed …. but rise it will. Just not this season perhaps. After the elections (US, CAN, AUS). Mark my words.

    • Yes. Within a decade, carbon emissions controls will make the burning of bunker oil much more expensive, encouraging people to produce items closer to where they are consumed.

      • But don’t they really want free global movement of capital most of all? I suspect we will see these agreements back again in the future to aid in achieving that goal.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        What R2M?, No faith in solar or windpower for shipping?…..Thats not like you.

        Ive been leed to believe, that up untill recently, “wind power” was a really big thing in global oceanic shipping.


  3. Actually the article was by Jennifer Hewitt – AFR, the unionists ‘friend’.

    Her little shot – China FTA (inexcusably backed by Labor so far) was unsubtle.

    When the terms of the China FTA allowing vitually uncontrolled access to Chinese 457 workers for in-Aust investment are more clearly understood, perhaps Jen’s little shot can be seen as her usual propaganda.

    • True. Reporters should just report.

      Those little additions turn it into an opinion piece, not professionally written news article.

  4. Canada’s dairy quota system is about as likely to be thrown out as uber is likely to be accepted by the cab drivers holding license plates. Harpers decision has nothing to do with the TPP – it’s purely protecting the monopoly of dairy producers within Canada that own production quotas alloted by the state.

  5. If our masters ratify this treasonous agreement, our nation will be locked in by ISDS provisions, unable to escape. If I and my colleagues ever find ourselves out of work as the Chinese are being flown in, there will be trouble.