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TPPA & TSA will undermine sovereignty

Media Release

Sunday 26 May 2013

TPPA & TSA will undermine sovereignty

“There are two international agreements currently being negotiated which could, if adopted, stop governments from being able to reverse the National government's destructive electricity strategy,” John Ring, Foreign Affairs spokesperson for Democrats for Social Credit, told a meeting in New Brighton on Sunday.

“The better known of the two agreements is the Transpacific Partnership Agreement being negotiated between New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Peru, Chile, Malaysia, Canada, Mexico, and Japan, which contains a provision for Investor - State Dispute Settlement, which would allow overseas shareholders in electricity companies to sue the government if it adopted policies that reduced their profits.

“In addition there is the Trade in Services Agreement, (which until recently hadn't been named and so was referred to as 'the International Services Agreement') being negotiated between Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United States, and the 27 member states of the European Union.

“At the 2005 World Trade Organisation Ministerial in Hong Kong, negotiators agreed to prioritize the negotiations on Agriculture and Non-Agricultural Market Access, and to deal with Services and other issues subsequently. However, transnational corporations in banking, energy, insurance, telecommunications, transportation, water, and other services sectors, working through lobby groups like the US Coalition of Service Industries (USCSI) and the European Services Forum (ESF) keep pushing a 'liberalization', deregulation and sometimes privatisation agenda for service industries.

“If a new agreement on Services is agreed to outside the WTO, then agricultural countries will have less leverage in their efforts to get an agreement to change global agricultural trade rules.

“Sectors covered in the agreement are likely to range from transport, (tele-) communications, construction, retail, engineering, energy provision, water distribution, accountancy, marketing, publicity, banking, and insurance, to nature conservation, entertainment, museums, education, health, funeral services, and much more.

“The participating countries will have to 'liberalize' services in “essentially all modes and sectors” which according to European Union proposals means 90% of all services. Each country will be able to choose which 10% of services will be exempt in that country, but future governments won't be able to move other services onto that list.

“It is almost certain to contain ratchet provisions so if things have already been deregulated or privatised, future governments will be unable to renationalise or regulate them.

“Both these agreements must be opposed,” said Mr Ring.


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