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TPPA: Don’t Sign! speaking tour

21 January 2016

For immediate release

TPPA: Don’t Sign! speaking tour: US expert Lori Wallach on “how US politics may kill the deal”

Lori Wallach, Director of US consumer group Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and the foremost critical commentator on TPPA in Washington DC, will be in New Zealand for a series of public meetings on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from 26 to 31st January.

‘Lori Wallach knows more about the troubled politics of the TPPA in Washington than probably even the White House’, said Professor Jane Kelsey who will be accompanying Ms Wallach on the speaking tour.

A former trade attorney, Ms Wallach has been at the forefront of U.S. congressional trade debates for two decades as the director of Global Trade Watch, a division of the large U.S. consumer organization Public Citizen founded by Ralph Nader.

“Before the final TPPA text was released, the prospects for congressional approval of the TPPA were at best uncertain, given the extremely narrow passage this summer of Fast Track trade authority for the agreement”, Lori Wallach observed.

‘That vote was based on what was known about the pact’s terms and omissions. Once Congress and the public saw the actual text, in contrast to what the Obama administration had claimed, members of Congress that supported Fast Track have come out against the TPPA. Every US presidential candidate of either political party polling above 10 percent in any U.S. state has also opposed the deal.’

Lori Wallach predicts that the changes to the text being demanded by Republicans who normally vote for trade deals as a condition for earning their TPPA support would cost more Democratic votes, and vice versa.

The speaking tour opens with a public meeting at the Auckland Town Hall on Tuesday 26th January at 7pm, where a leaders or trade spokespersons from Labour, New Zealand First, the Greens, and the Maori Party will also speak. The Town Hall meeting will be broadcast through live feed.

Ms Wallach and Professor Kelsey will then be speaking in Wellington on 27th, Christchurch on 28th and Dunedin on 29th.

ends

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