Trade Gurus & Public Affairs Mavens

TPP: Maui Madness


The situation in Maui is ominous.

There is a hurricane bearing down on in Hawaii – gaining strength from the warm Pacific waters. There was a full moon last night. I am looking at a beautiful black swan in the pond at the Westin – ten feet away.

Are these omens?

Ministers have been in and out of plenary sessions for days. They are trying to do the deal. No doubt there is a lot of jawboning to bring the recalcitrant into line.

An underlying problem appears to be Washington’s lack of contribution to seeking middle ground. Give-and-take unfortunately requires all sides to give. There are rumours that the US will need to come to Australia’s position on Biologics data protection. Will that be enough?

There are still problems with automobiles. Very sticky.

And that might be the easy stuff?

USTR is denying media reports on Canada’s alleged dairy offer. The Kiwis will be taking a lot of flak on this as they were behind the leak. Indeed, New Zealand, which one of the more aggressive negotiators in this proposed trade agreement, is walking a fine line.

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