Not much progress towards a TPP-11
9 May 2017: Officials from all TPP countries minus the US met in Canada last week to discuss a possible TPP minus one or TPP-11. The meeting was held in secret and according to media reports the Canadian media weren’t even able to find out where exactly the venue was, let alone what was discussed.
However, there was no statement coming out of the meeting so we can assume there was little agreement about a path forward. Since then, there has been some media speculation about Japan, New Zealand and Australia pushing on with a much smaller TPP-5, with two other countries, perhaps Singapore and Brunei, although they have made no definite commitments.
In reaction to this recent speculation about a potential ‘gang of five TPP,’ NZ activist and professor Jane Kelsey wrote an opinion piece titled “No gang of give, just let the TPP die!"
She criticised the secrecy of the meeting and argues that “there can be no pretence of a compelling economic rationale for a TPPA-5 when the projected costs are weighed against the benefits” and says Australia and New Zealand’s efforts to keep it alive are "purely ideological”.
Before the recent meeting in Canada AFTINET Convener Pat Ranald told the media the TPP would be an even worse deal without the US in it and called for it to be abandoned.
She said that countries like Malaysia and Vietnam only agreed to stronger medicine monopolies and ISDS to get access to US markets, so the deal makes no sense without this.
"Minister Ciobo is wasting his time trying to revive the dead deal which benefits some corporations but not most Australians,” Dr Ranald said.
“Instead Australia should be pursuing more open and transparent trade which will improve peoples’ lives.”