Dec 152016

These are some reflections on RCEP round in Jakarta for those who weren’t there.

Japan has become the US in drag, asserting its commitment to implementing the TPPA no matter what and pushing TPPA positions (and sometimes worse) even in areas it initially opposed in those negotiations, such as SOEs and intellectual property. Presumably this is to impress Trump in the hope the TPPA can be resurrected or a bilateral US Japan deal can rise from its ashes, with Japan surrendering once again to the American superpower.

Australia and New Zealand continue their mantra that RCEP must be a ‘high quality’ agreement and continue to demand massive commitments from developing countries. They got a lot of pushback this week. Continue reading »

Feb 042015

janekelsey2008-200x300US demanded additional legislation on copyright before it would certify Australia’s FTA compliance 

In August 2014 a memorandum and supporting documents published on the website exposed how the United States uses a process called ‘certification’ to require other countries to implement the US’s interpretation of those other countries’ obligations under their free trade treaties.

Unless those countries’ comply, the US will not exchange the diplomatic notes that are necessary to bring the agreement into force. A number of examples showed how the US has used certification to intervene actively in other countries’ legislative processes in recent years. Continue reading »

Aug 132014

certification-logo2A new website has been launched today ( that documents the extraordinary process of ‘certification’ through which the United States claims the right to vet and approve other countries laws before it will allow a trade and investment treaty to come into force.

This process has existed for many years, but it has been used more intensively in the past decade because Congress was dissatisfied with how some countries had been implementing their US free trade agreements. Continue reading »


TPPA Ministers Set to Make Crucial IP Decisions This Weekend in Singapore

 Posted by on February 21, 2014  Comments Off on TPPA Ministers Set to Make Crucial IP Decisions This Weekend in Singapore
Feb 212014

janekelsey2008-200x300The intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that Wikileaks posted in November signaled over 100 areas of disagreement. Those ‘square brackets’ have been rapidly disappearing in the lead-up to the ministerial meeting in Singapore this weekend, according to Professor Jane Kelsey, who is in Singapore monitoring the negotiations.

‘By the start of the officials’ meetings on Monday the 100-plus points of disagreement in last year’s intellectual property text had already been whittled away. I understand there have been further major decisions already this week, even before the ministers meet’, Kelsey said. Continue reading »

Nov 112013

janekelsey2008-200x300For immediate release:
11 November 2013

‘Every ounce of political pressure will come on the negotiators during a special round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that are scheduled for Salt Lake City from 19 to 24 November’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland. The meeting comes two weeks before the TPPA trade ministers will reportedly convene in Singapore from 7th to 9th December, immediately following the World Trade Organization ministerial conference in Bali. The US Trade Representative has billed this as a meeting of ‘chief negotiators and key experts’ from the 12 countries.

That is an euphemism for the entire negotiating teams on three main chapters where there are still major unresolved issues – intellectual property, state-owned enterprises and investment – and possibly others, such as government procurement, rules of origin, and legal issues. Continue reading »