Is the TPPA about growth at all costs, including drinking?
Media Release – 2/11/11
Is the TPPA about economic growth at all costs, including having a heavy drinking culture?
In attempting to be reassuring about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), Hon Tim Groser has used the Alcohol Reform Bill as an example of the sort of regulation that will be possible under this new free trade agreement (see accompanying letter).
“This is very concerning because the Alcohol Reform Bill is essentially an Alcohol NON-Reform Bill” said Professor Doug Sellman.
“The Bill doesn’t contain anything that will make a significant difference to the heavy drinking culture in New Zealand, but nevertheless continues to be dressed up by the government as alcohol reform”.
“It looks as if the TPPA might only allow regulation of alcohol that is consistent with a status quo, free market approach to the supply, marketing and sale of this inherently risky, yet fantastic business product (a drug)”.
“The question is whether the current wording of the TPPA would be interpreted differently if significant reforms were proposed by a government in the future, such as increasing the price of alcohol, dismantling alcohol marketing and reducing the alcohol level for driving” added Professor Jennie Connor.
“Proper reforms based on the international evidence about alcohol-related harm would necessarily constrain alcohol business activity”.