No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement

No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement

No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement

No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement


While the global financial crisis has exposed deep flaws in the free market, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Chile, Peru, and Vietnam are negotiating a free-trade agreement to surpass all others-here an international team of expert commentators expose the myths of yet another neo-liberal adventure No ordinary free trade deal, The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been billed as an agreement fit for the 21st century-but no one is sure what that means. The U.S. sells this eight-country deal as the key to jobs and economic recovery, while protecting home markets; Australia hails it as a foundation stone for an APEC-wide free trade agreement; and New Zealand sees it as a magic bullet to open the U.S. dairy market-but none of these arguments stack up. Here Lori Wallach, Todd Tucker, John Quiggin, and other experts from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., and Chile examine the geopolitics and security context of the negotiations and set out the costs for other countries of making concessions to the U.S. simply to achieve a deal. They argue its obligations will intrude into core areas of domestic government policy which have nothing to do with imports and exports, including foreign investment, financial regulation, access to affordable medicines, food standards, services, and government procurement-the issues that caused majority public opposition to the 2004 U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Above all, this book exposes the contradictions of countries locking even deeper into a neo-liberal model of global free markets, when even political leaders admit that this has failed.


This is a book about much more than ‘free trade’: it is about the political futures of New Zealand and Australia, about national sovereignty, democracy and indigenous self-determination, about the potential of local culture and grassroots political movements, about what people want and what they need to know.

No Ordinary Deal had its genesis in a colloquium, mainly of academic lawyers and economists from Australia and New Zealand, hosted at the School of Law of the University of Auckland in June 2009. The gathering shared their insights on the potential implications of a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement for their specialist areas, drawing on experiences of other free trade agreements. Detailed papers were developed and additional experts were invited to contribute to this book of essays.

A book that has nineteen contributors and aims to maintain academic rigour within a tight timeline can only come to fruition if everyone shares a commitment to the objective of generating informed debate that can make a difference. It also depends on a publisher who is willing to invest the time, energy and resources in a venture that is intensely important to the future of the nation but has uncertain commercial returns. Through Series 21, Bridget Williams Books leads the way in that regard.

This project was made possible through a grant from the Faculty Research Development Fund at the University of Auckland. In addition to the colloquium, the grant has supported a website that acts as a clearing house for information, media feed, legal texts, commentary and other resources relating to the TPPA negotiations. Readers can find the comprehensive bibliography relating to this book on the website (

The New Zealand Law Foundation also made an invaluable contribution toward the publication of the book, as part of their mission to generate informed debate on the development of law in New Zealand. Obviously, neither funder is responsible for the views expressed by in the book.

Special thanks go to a number of students who have provided research assistance over several years: Stephen Parry, Caroline Fergusson and Edward . . .

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