The US Government is currently putting intense pressure on its 11 Asia-Pacific negotiating ‘partners’ to finalise the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
This agreement, being negotiated in secrecy and with no chance for effective public or even Parliamentary input, has serious implications for New Zealand sovereignty if passed – including the ability for a future Government to pass effective environmental legislation that displeases foreign investors. Further good reasons to oppose the TPPA are listed below.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the current National Government strongly supports the TPPA. Elements of the Labour Party also support it, though David Cunliffe has recently signalled that Labour will take a more critical stance. The Greens are strongly opposed.
Now a new website gives you the chance to take action against the TPPA. You can watch and share this video in which prominent New Zealanders call for more openness over the TPPA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61tDQBKpCdU
and sign and share this petition calling for the Government to let New Zealanders know what’s in the TPPA: http://www.itsnotright.org.nz/
Environmental legislation and decision-making is already heavily weighted in favour of the mining industry. If the TPPA is passed, that will get even worse, and be harder to change. So we encourage you to get involved in the anti-TPPA campaign.
More reasons to be concerned about the TPPA
From what we know so far, if the negotiations are completed it will become much harder for the New Zealand government to look after our environment, promote health, protect workers and consumers, and promote the public interest:
- Most restrictions on foreign investment will be frozen and rolled back even further.
- Big overseas companies will be able to sue the New Zealand government for millions in damages in secretive offshore tribunals, claiming that new laws and regulations (for example, a ban on fracking, smoking control laws, or a cap on electricity prices) have seriously undermined the value of their investments.
- Medicines will become more expensive as big pharmaceutical companies gain more influence over PHARMAC, and restrictions are placed on generic medicines.
- Copyright laws will be toughened and more harshly enforced, restricting internet freedom and access to information, costing libraries, schools, and businesses, and stifling innovation.
- Parallel importing will be banned, meaning that New Zealanders, especially the poor, will have to pay far more for all sorts of ordinary products.
- Foreign banks, insurance companies and money traders will gain more powers to challenge laws designed to prevent another financial crisis; and overseas property dealers could contest moves to burst the property bubble, such as a capital gains tax.
Recent media coverage
- Key accused of spreading TPPA ‘mistruths’: http://www.3news.co.nz/Key-accused-of-spreading-TPPA-mistruths/tabid/1607/articleID/315300/Default.aspx
- Calls for Government to release draft text of TPPA: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11132757