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Does Labour still want TPP talks to be open?

15 June 2012

Does Labour still want TPP talks to be open?

Labour needs to explain why they are apparently siding with the National Government on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

In yesterday’s question time Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove appeared to side with Trade Minister Tim Groser over the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement trade deal currently being negotiated behind closed doors.

“Last year, Labour called for the more scrutiny of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement,” said Dr Norman.

“Labour MP Maryan Street welcomed a Foreign Affairs Select Committee hearing into the potential implications for New Zealand of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.

“At present, this deal will be conducted in secret and the New Zealand public will only find out what we have signed up to after it is already signed.

“The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement includes investor state disputes mechanisms that give foreign companies the right to sue current and future Governments in World Bank tribunals over policies they may consider impact on their business.

“This means future Governments that want to tighten up environmental health or labour laws could be constrained by any deal Mr Groser signs on behalf of New Zealand.

“The Australian Gillard Labor Government has explicitly stated they will not sign up to the investor state disputes provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it would constrain their ability to regulate on environmental, social and economic issues.

“New Zealand MPs from all sides of the House should be far more cautious about signing an agreement that has the ability to impact on New Zealand’s sovereignty,” Dr Norman said.

ENDS

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