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

 

The TPPA New Zealand’s Democracy

The TPPA New Zealand’s Democracy

Chris Perley
7th October

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations are concluded, and have shifted to the next phase - ratification by parliaments.

The government is spinning like a top telling us how wonderful it will be for New Zealand. Forget the figures of $2.7 billion. They are mere guesstimates, and carefully avoid the costs. The Government's negotiated access to overseas dairy markets are continually trumpeted as some sort of economic panacea. They are a delusion to anyone but those with a narrow vision that extends no farther than the commission or the closing of the 'deal'.

They are a delusion because there is no way Japan or Canada want to kill their family farm dairy operations in the interests of industrial production from New Zealand. There are very good economic, environmental and social reasons for that. It’s the same reason the French won’t kill off their rural communities by allowing factory dairy products in, and see the dispossessed move to the slums of Lyon and vote for extremist parties in their despair.

We and the Anglo-American west are about the only countries who think industrial agriculture is a sane approach, and I don’t know why – production of dross with an ever-larger factory, rather than creation of multiple co-values. Other than State Communist collective farms, of course. Now there's a similarity in authoritarian hierarchical thinking worth examining.

And then there’re the increased costs for medicine and the impact on our local communities and businesses – forgotten in the haste to get a dairy deal that will never happen. Other governments are not that naïve.

So what’s it for, this so-called trade ‘partnership’.

Well, they are careful not to discuss that. Trade Minister Tim Grocer won’t mention the fact that only some five out of over 20 clauses deal with trade and the rest are about the investment rights of mega-corporations – including the ability to sue both our central and our local government – that’s you and me.

Here’s what Nobel prize economist Joseph Stiglitz says – "The reality is that this is an agreement to manage trade and investment relations – and to do so on behalf of each country’s most powerful business lobbies."

Bryan Gould argues there is a need for an agreement on managing trade. He thinks – and I agree – that we should look very carefully at the activities of corporate investors across national boundaries to ensure they comply with our laws, protect our people and avoid damage to our environment.

The TPPA does the very opposite. It reverses our democracy. It extends their interests without having to bother to consider ours. We – the people – now have to be mindful of their corporate interests in making our laws – or else.

Or else they can sue. "How dare you reduce our profits for the public good."

It happened when Australia wanted plain packaging on cigarettes. It happened when Egypt wanted to improve labour laws.

If you believe in Adam Smith’s village – local enterprise with no powerful outside exploiters coming in the make our lives worse – then you should be against this ‘deal’.

This deal goes to the core of our democracy. Prof Jane Kelsey issued a challenge to our government that needs to be addressed:

"Who gave the Prime Minister and Trade Minister the right to sacrifice our rights to affordable medicine, to regulate foreign investment, to decide our own copyright laws, to set up new SOEs, and whatever else they have agreed to in this secret deal and present it to us as a fait accompli?"

This is far from over. The dealmakers haven’t disclosed the details – they should immediately – but when they do, expect outrage. The US congress may be our greatest ally.

Chris Perley

Thoughtscapes

Havelock North

chris@thoughtscapes.co.nz

www.chrisperleyblog.wordpress.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Implications Of The Travel Bubble

Amidst the coverage of the hugs and kisses and reunion tears one hates to be a killjoy… But there has been little attention paid to the pattern of travel we’re likely to see with the Trans-tasman bubble. Clearly, there has been a lot of pent-up demand for the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) kind of travel which – while welcome on humanitarian grounds - will be of less benefit to our ailing tourism industry than say, holiday excursions and high-end business travel... More>>

 

Government: Border Exceptions Will See More Families Reunited

Hundreds more families who were separated by the border closure will be reunited under new border exceptions announced today, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. More>>

ALSO:

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels