[Osia-members] OSIA in the news

Jack Burton jack at saosce.com.au
Fri Nov 11 17:33:57 AEDT 2016

Afternoon, all.

Members of OSIA may be interested in an article on TPP that appeared in
ARN today(*), which quoted OSIA's testimony before JSCOT in late

The article is technically incorrect -- whilst the 11 remaining nations
can ratify TPP without the US, TPP cannot enter into force without US
ratification, since the agreement itself requires countries totalling a
minimum of 55% of GDP of TPP Parties to ratify before it takes force
(which is impossible without the US, Japan and at least two other
countries ratifying). [although the Parties could of course, as OSIA
has now recommended on three occasions, instead enter into a true free
trade agreement instead, focussing on reciprocal tariff/quota
elimination without the 28 Chapters of unnecessary non-trade-related

This does not mean that the battle is over. Evidence led by other
witnesses before JSCOT suggested that there will be heavy lobbying for
President Obama to push through US ratification of TPP during his "lame
duck" period. Although that seems unlikely to happen given the Trump
victory in this week's US election (Congress seem unlikely to make a
move that would put them at odds with the incoming President from day
one), it still remains a risk.

Nevertheless, and despite the other real risks for US domestic &
foreign policy, the events of the last few days bring us closer to
consigning TPP to the "waste paper basket" once & for all.

It is not over yet, but I genuinely believe we are now within two
months of defeating TPP altogether

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those others who have
contributed substantially to OSIA's various submissions on TPP to date,
most notably: former OSIA director Don Christie of Catalyst IT
(contributing author on OSIA's DFAT submission; and also the man who
first brought the severe risks of TPP to the board's attention); Daniel
Spector, formerly also of Catalyst Group (who was my invaluable guide
when I first entered the world of international diplomacy); OSIA
founding chairman Brendan Scott of Open Source Law & former OSIA
director Carl Holden of Holden Dynamics (both major reviewers of OSIA's
DFAT submission); Daniel Black, formerly of OpenQuery (the most
prolific contributor to OSIA TPP analysis in between the first two
submissions) and current OSIA director Paul Foxworthy of Coherent
Software (contributing author on OSIA's JSCOT & SSCFADT submissions).

I will speak further about TPP at next week's AGM in Sydney, but for
now, I'd just like to reassure OSIA members that despite the
unprecedented (at least during living memory) turmoil being experienced
in the United States this week, there appears to be at least one good
outcome for the Australian FOSS industry (and indeed for the FOSS
industries in all 11 other TPP Parties, including our close allies in
New Zealand who have also been very active on this front through the
good work of NZRise, NZOSS & ITPNZ [formerly NZCS]).

I would strongly urge the incoming 2016/17 OSIA Chairman, whoever that
may be, to consider engaging directly with the transitional US
administration (in addition to giving evidence before the Australian
Senate References Committee) to ensure that this "dud deal" (to borrow
Senator Xenophon's words) never reaches fruition. The majority of the
arguments which OSIA has raised to date from the perspective of the
Australian FOSS sector apply equally to the interests of the US FOSS
sector (and indeed to most of the US industry, outside a few select
entrenched interests).

The good work done by a wide range of OSIA members over the last 5
years on this matter is commendable, but for the good of the Australian
FOSS industry it is essential that we follow it through to its logical


Jack Burton
<jack at saosce.com.au>

[*] This was the fourth such article in recent weeks. The first, from
ZDNet, was referenced in the last OSIA update. In between were these,
also from ZDNet:

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