politics

Japan, White House rule out re-opening TPP talks

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Any renegotiation attempt could "scupper" the whole pact.

scupper a hole in a ship's side to carry water overboard from the deck. an outlet in the side of a building for draining water.

Interesting word choice. Another reason the TPP is a bad idea, no flexibility at all, and if it turns out that any part of the agreement doesn't work well, you're stuck with it anyway.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How about reopening TPP talks WITH TRANSPARENCY?

So that us guys, who're going to be most affected by it, can get a word in?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This underscores the problem with the design of the US political system and its separation of powers. The president can spend long hours negotiating an international agreement and then have it overturned by the legislative branch, wasting everybody's time.

Washington should adopt the British parliamentary system.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

@JeffLee,

Washington should adopt the British parliamentary system.

Sure, why not. A simple amendment to the Constitution. No problem. Easily done.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Issue of whether there should be a pact or not aside, what gives the right for the US and Japan to potentially strike side deals? If the US is truly upset about the outcome of the negotiations, then its voters should throw out those politicians whom signed up for it.

However, knowing the recent toxicity of US politics, I'm inclined to think that this has more to do with political point scoring (reading partisan politics) rather than the TPP agreement itself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@HongoTAFEinmate,

Issue of whether there should be a pact or not aside, what gives the right for the US and Japan to potentially strike side deals?

Well, as the two largest members involved in the pact, with some of the most sensitive trade issues, they have taken the lead role, even for all of the provisions that are multilateral.

And, also, just an FYI, TPP itself is comprised of so many side letters, bilateral provisions, country-specific measures and the like, that it is not a "one size fits all" agreement. It is one complicated bugger of a deal. Take a look at the table of contents for the agreement.

https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/tpp-full-text

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zones2surf Your comment is actually only half right. The long-term driving forces behind the TPP in its current incarnation have been the US and what was once called "the Cairns Group". To cut along story short, they were the countries that were stiffed when the Doha Round collapsed.

Moreover, Japan's own involvement in the TPP saga has been on and off. Tokyo was actually caught out by the fact that negotations moved forward. Hence the panicked scramble a couple of years ago to get a last minute seat at the table (I seem to remember a meeting in Thailand). Before that, however, Tokyo was the heavy hitter in the establishment of APEC, while the theoretical framework for both APEC and the TPP can be traced back to the Crawford-Okita Report of 1976.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't approve the deal if the governments aren't willing to renegotiate. They negotiate the entire deal in absolute secrecy and then refuse to make any changes when the final framework is released. The complete disregard for the public is appalling.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“Renegotiation is not an option,”

Let me fix that: “Renegotiation will be extremely difficult, but, if necessary, we will do what THE people demand.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@HongoTAFEinmate,

Ahhh, you must work for the USTR!! No need for me to educate you then.

And, of course, this was not a joint news conference. It was just both governments getting similar questions, them answering those questions, and Reuters bundling it together in one article.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

any renegotiation attempt could scupper the whole pact.

If it's not flexible, it'll break.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hopefully it breaks. We're all going to suffer if it doesn't.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is good. It means that the TTP will never see the light of day. Especially if a Republican is elected president of the us. Best for the world.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“Renegotiation is not an option,”

Then neither is ratification.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

theFu: Let me fix that: “Renegotiation will be extremely difficult, but, if necessary, we will do what THE people demand.”

C'mon. They're not gonna say that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It will not pass anyway.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese press is claiming that while there are a lot of concessions on agriculture the TPP will not help the car industry at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't approve the deal if the governments aren't willing to renegotiate.

Approving the deal only to renegotiate it, doesn't make sense at all.

In order to renegotiate, the implication is that you have to give something up in order to get something else.

Or you get nothing at all.

That's what is involved in negotiation.

The complete disregard for the public is appalling.

That's why there is the option to not approve the negotiated deal. Take it or leave it. Your public will judge the politicians who made the decisions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They shouldn't have to negociate the whole thing. Just make ALL goods and products tarrif free in the zone. Make sure that all countries are abiding by human rights standards. Even allow more freedom of movement for the TPP nations' citizens. Then you would see real progress.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Issue of whether there should be a pact or not aside, what gives the right for the US and Japan to potentially strike side deals?

You're missing the point of the article. This article is about some politicians unwilling to go on record as actually voting for or against the Pact while at the same time they are prohibited by the "fast-track" law from trying to modify the pact themselves. Their "solution" is to try and get a couple of the members of the pact to start the negotiation process all over again. Doing so would relieve the politician from having to go on record as voting for or against the pact because, considering how long the initial negotiations took, by the time it came around again for a vote the politician would likely have already retired or died of old age (in Sen. Orrin Hatch's case - he's already 81 years old) and passed the issue on to their successor.

Orrin, just grow some huevos and vote how you want to vote when the time comes some 80 days from now. Stop trying to delay things simply because you aren't getting EVERY LITTLE concession you were hoping for. If the Pact is too onerous in your mind, then vote against it. A simple concept that apparently scares the hell out of politicians who can envision what the opponent's political ads will be saying in the next election cycle. Apparently it's much better to delay and do nothing than to actually cast a vote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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