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

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news