Australian news, and some related international items

Trans Pacific Partnership is a dud

Trans-Pacific Partnership is a fizzer, The Age, November 29, 2015 Malcolm Bosworth The Trans-Pacific Partnership text confirms the federal government’s rampant over-selling of the economic benefits to Australia. While heralded by a few, mainly food exporters for opening foreign markets, any benefits from the TPP to our economic wellbeing will be small and short-lived.

The TPP is not about multilateralism but discriminatory regionalism personified. It is further proof that efficient globalism (or multilateralism) founded on the WTO’s non-discrimination principle is being replaced by inefficient regionalism built on discriminatory Preferential Trading Agreements (PTAs). Discrimination between trading partners distorts global trade. The TPP is another nail in the WTO’s coffin and globalisation on which Australian prosperity has relied.

Negotiated secretly like all PTAs, the TPP covers under 40 per cent of world trade; major traders e.g. EU and China are excluded. It not only discriminates against non-TPP members but as a bunch of PTAs the TPP also entrenches discrimination between its parties. It is riddled with side deals, different transition periods, unequal member-specific and member non-specific tariff quotas, and incomprehensible rules of origin, just to mention some discriminatory measures. It is more about managing trade discriminatorily among members than open competition.

The TPP is a bizarre mix of confusing negotiated outcomes bearing little resemblance to globalised trade. Its complexity guarantees it will be a nightmare to administer and understand, for traders, investors and consumers. The TPP simply super-imposes a layer of discriminatory regionalism on an already overlapping and tangled web of PTAs between TPP members and non-members. Trade in the Asia Pacific, as elsewhere, will now become even more of a ‘dog’s breakfast,’ compromising global efficiency. Rather than simplifying the global trading system, PTAs like the TPP are making it less transparent and more cumbersome……..

November 30, 2015 - Posted by | General News

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