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

 


Ministers must respond to call for release of the TPPA text

Seven countries’ senior legislators call for release of the TPPA text, Ministers must respond

‘There has been unprecedented call today from senior legislators in seven countries for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement text to be released before it is signed’, said Professor Jane Kelsey, who monitors the negotiations. The open letter reads:

We, the undersigned legislators from countries involved in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, call on the Parties to the negotiation to publish the draft text of the Agreement before any final agreement is signed with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate

‘The trade ministers from the TPPA parties have backed themselves into a corner with their extreme secrecy. That position is now untenable.’

‘New Zealand is the repository of the TPPA, which is effectively the secretariat. Tim Groser needs to take the lead when the trade ministers meet in Singapore from 22 to 25 February and propose that they revoke the agreement not to release the TPPA documents’, Kelsey said.

The open letter followed approaches to senior politicians from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru who had expressed concern about the lack of transparency in the TPPA negotiations.

The leaders and co-leaders of the New Zealand First, Green, Maori and Mana parties all endorsed the call.

Other signatories to the open letter include the Vice-President of Peru, the leader and trade spokesperson for Canada’s two main opposition parties, the trade spokesperson for Australia’s Green Party, and several former Cabinet ministers from Japan.

This is the latest in a stream of calls by legislators for release of the texts over the past year.

The Australian Labor Party succeeded with a motion in the Senate last December calling for the text of the TPPA and all other free trade agreements to be tabled in Parliament at least 14 days before they are signed. The Liberal government has refused.

Yesterday, the New Zealand Labour Party sought to move along similar lines:

“That the House call on the New Zealand Government to publish the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement before any final agreement is signed, with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate; either when it is made public by the United States Congress, or not less than 14 days prior to its signing in New Zealand; whichever is the earlier."

The government objected to the motion, which meant it could not be read.

Legislators from other countries have gone considerably further, demanding the release of the draft texts to allow them to do their job as legislators, open the process to expert analysis and democratic debate, and remove the reliance on leaked texts.

In December 34 deputies and 15 senators from Chile’s Parliament called on the President to halt the negotiations and make them transparent. Many belong to the party that will become the government in March.

Members of the US Congress have issued a constant stream of letters objecting to the secrecy and seeking release of the draft texts.

The letter and related documents can be found on www.tppmpsfortransparency.org, a website co-hosted by development agency Oxfam International and Article 19, an international NGO that campaigns for freedom of expression and transparency.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news