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LIANZA Says TPPA Closing Date Unacceptable

LIANZA Says TPPA Closing Date Unacceptable March 2, 2016

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand (LIANZA) wishes to express its concern the very short time that has been allowed for select committee scrutiny of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). This agreement has significant ramifications for New Zealand: it will require amendments to our law, and, by virtue of the provisions around investor-state dispute settlements, represents a threat to the future independence of Parliamentary law-making, which is, in effect, a threat to our constitution.

Implementation of the changes required by the Intellectual Property chapter will have considerable financial impacts for libraries, taxpayers and ratepayers, with no perceivable concession in return. Negotiating Parties and copyright owners have had six years in which to develop the text. We have been given one month in which to make submissions, following provision of the National Interest Analyses.

LIANZA considers that the time allowed for scrutiny is insufficient for robust consideration to be given to the TPPA. The urgency with which the New Zealand government is seeking ratification is hard to comprehend, given that 2 years has been allowed for legislative bodies to evaluate and implement the TPPA, following the 4 February 2016 signing. A closing date of 11 March 2016 for public submissions is simply unacceptable.

LIANZA urges the New Zealand government to reconsider and extend the TPPA review and implementation time-frame.

Moreover, despite the New Zealand government's enthusiasm for ratifying the TPA, there are good reasons for doubting that the TPPA will receive sufficient support from the other states parties to bring it into force. Any law changes New Zealand drafts in support of the TPPA should be conditional upon the TPPA coming into force. There is no justification for changing our laws to bring them into line with the terms of a trade deal if that trade deal does not go ahead.


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