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More Hypocrisy on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Media Release: Professor Jane Kelsey
Sunday 13 November 2011

More Hypocrisy on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as APEC Meets in Honolulu

Leaders of the nine governments participating in negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade and investment agreement met during the first day of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu today.

After sifting through the deluge of documents released after today’s meeting of political leaders from the nine countries in the TPPA negotiations, Professor Kelsey said they provided no new information.

“The first official statements about the TPPA negotiations have told us nothing we haven’t already gleaned from leaked documents, analysis of speeches from politicians and corporate lobbyists, and our own discussions with delegations.”

“They do confirm their goal is to set a straitjacket on the policies and laws that future New Zealand governments can adopt”, she said.

“We already know that the targets include Pharmac, tobacco control laws, restrictions on foreign investment, tighter environmental protections, GM and food labeling, industry, regulation of oil exploration and construction standards, and many other areas where market-friendly regulation has failed.”

“We need to see the draft texts so we can properly assess their implications and if they are not in our interests the government should be required to walk away. That’s is the least we should expect in a democracy.”

The APEC process, which gives privileged access to the corporate sector and excludes all others, has compounded the secrecy that has surrounds the controversial TPPA negotiations.

“The buzz-word ‘transparency’, which is strewn throughout the APEC and TPPA documentation, should be relegated to the dustbins of hypocrisy”, said Professor Kelsey.

“The CEOs of the major corporations and the business lobby groups have had privileged meetings with the officials, ministers and leaders to push their cause.”

“New Zealanders should be outraged that our right to decide our own future is being dealt with this way.”

Ends.

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