Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Tri-National Campaign Launched in Opposition to the TPPA

Tri-National Campaign Launched in Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Activists Announce Goal of 1,000 North American Groups against "NAFTA Expansion"

Blaine, Wash. — Activists from Canada, Mexico and the United States are unveiling a new tri-national unity statement opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during a cross-border organizing summit on the U.S./Canada border on Saturday. On the eve of the 15th major round of TPP negotiations, representatives of the labor, environmental, indigenous, family farm, democracy and other social justice movements will announce a goal of collecting 1,000 organizational signatures on the statement from throughout North America prior to the start of the next TPP round, widely believed to take place in March 2013.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate rights deal, which threatens workers, farmers, indigenous communities and our planet," said Kristen Beifus, director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, one of the summit's main organizers. "United people's movements have defeated corporate-power grabs like the TPP before, and we plan to do it again this time around."

According to the "North American Unity Statement Opposing NAFTA Expansion through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)," the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has caused economic, environmental and cultural damage throughout the continent and the TPP will expand NAFTA-style trade and investment provisions throughout the Pacific Rim unless organizations mobilize to prevent that.

"It's impossible to overstate how devastating NAFTA has been to working people and family farmers over the past twenty years," said Manuel Perez Rocha, of the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade and associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. "Leaked documents suggest the TPP would actually go beyond NAFTA in the powers it hands to transnational corporations. Thankfully, a transnational movement is rising to stop it and our tri-national network is a part of it."

"We're calling on social justice organizations throughout Canada, Mexico and the Unites States to sign onto the unity statement, first, in recognition of the threat the TPP poses to their members and, second, in recognition that it will take all of us coming together across geographic and issue-area borders in order to win," said Stuart Trew, trade campaigner for the Council of Canadians.

Groups can sign onto the statement at tinyurl.com/unitystatement. The statement as a whole reads as follows:

North American Unity Statement Opposing NAFTA Expansion through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)*

The nearly two decades of economic, environmental and cultural damage wrought by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while by no means experienced equally, have been highly detrimental to the majority of people across the North American region.

As a direct result of NAFTA, there are fewer good jobs, more struggling family farms, less stable food systems, and everyday consumer safety measures are weaker and social inequality grows. The pact's intellectual property rules continue to undermine access to affordable medicine, while its financial service provisions have undermined banking regulations. NAFTA fueled even more the conditions that precipitated an economic emigration crisis and exacerbated a false drug war, leading to mass-scale human rights abuses where tens of thousands of citizens have been the victims. It has degraded the earth and its ecosystems in numerous ways, including from mining and other resource extraction projects, and has had pronounced effects on indigenous peoples’ sovereignty.  Subsequent trade agreements have similarly propelled a race to the bottom in wages, labor rights and environmental protection, as well as deregulation and privatization, contributing to the worldwide financial and climate crises.

Halting further damage should be a shared priority of our peoples. Instead, because NAFTA has simultaneously redirected wealth and power to elites in each of the countries involved, the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States, among others, are now seeking to expand NAFTA's trade and investment rules throughout the Pacific Rim in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In fact, leaked documents suggest that the TPP could very well go beyond NAFTA in the new powers and rights it hands to transnational corporations, including an expansion of NAFTA's infamous investor-state dispute process, by which international investors can challenge public interest laws, regulations and even court decisions that could threaten their expectation of profits through unaccountable tribunals that circumvent and violate domestic judicial systems.

The world cannot afford this NAFTA expansion package. Instead, we need policies that help build a more just and sustainable global economy, including those that respect and promote fundamental labor rights, including equal rights for migrant workers; the creation of high-wage, high-benefit jobs; environmental protection; food sovereignty; financial market stability; food and product safety; access to quality healthcare; and local democracy.

Together, we call on our sisters and brothers throughout North America and beyond to educate their communities about the TPP and to engage on it now, lest we all have even greater harms forced upon us and the people of many other countries.

* The Trans-Pacific Partnership is currently under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It is being written as a "docking agreement" that would allow other countries to join over time, but without them able to make changes to existing text (a pre-condition that Canada and Mexico agreed to).

###

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences.

Such is the power of the economic orthodoxy that when opposition parties arise – say, in the shape of the Greens – their “credibility” is measured by the extent to which they give the appearance of learning and abiding by the ruling consensus.

The tension between the desire for change – and the inability of the current political framework to deliver it – creates openings for populists of all stripes. It is what has made the emergence of Internet Mana so interesting. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news