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

 


Growing international call for transparency in TPPA

Growing international call for transparency in TPPA negotiations

In the lead-up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations in Singapore February 22-25, Oxfam New Zealand is calling on the New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser to end the secrecy and make negotiating drafts publicly available. The scope of the TPPA is wide ranging and will be significant for generations to come, not just in New Zealand but particularly for poor and marginalised people in the developing world.

Oxfam’s Executive Director, Barry Coates said, “The lack of transparency around these negotiations is out of step even with practices in the World Trade Organisation and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Citizens and their elected representatives have the right to know what is being decided before it’s too late to do anything about it.”

Oxfam has written to Trade Minister Groser to urge him to make the draft negotiating documents public. At present the text is closely held within a small group of negotiators and their corporate advisers. Oxfam’s letter refers to the Open Letter signed by political leaders and senior MPs from seven countries negotiating the TPPA. Even senior political representatives do not know what is in the text. The letter, available on the website www.tppmpsfortransparency.org, states:

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.“

If agreed, the TPPA would have long term implications for future rules on trade, investment, intellectual property and copyright, and regulation of international corporations, as well as having implications for a wide range of domestic policies.

“These issues are too important for a few Trade Ministers to decide behind closed doors. In just one of many examples, while New Zealanders may be forced to pay more for medicines, the consequences could be severe for people in extreme poverty in the developing world, who may see their ability to afford life-saving drugs slip away altogether,” Coates said.

The TPPA would establish a new framework for international trade and investment agreements, one that focuses on the rights of foreign investors, while undermining the responsibilities of governments to regulate in the public interest. It would be a new precedent for a multilateral agreement to give foreign companies the right to challenge governments in an international tribunal and demand compensation for lost profits. The TPPA would lay the foundation for other agreements that would vitally affect the interests of people living in poverty around the world.

“Governments need to have the powers to promote poverty reduction, tackle rising inequality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. But these are likely to be eroded in the TPPA.

“All New Zealanders will be affected, vulnerable communities in the Pacific and across the developing world will be affected, and future generations will be affected. Our elected representatives should be able to know what New Zealand is proposing in these negotiations and debate our positions and our role,” Coates said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news