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

 

Plain Packs Plan: Gordon Campbell On Tobacco Politicking (And The TPP Death Watch)

Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. More>>

ALSO:

.


RECENT TPP MEETING:

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news