Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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

 

The TPP: Why rush in where angels fear to tread?

The TPP: Why rush in where angels fear to tread?

Public Health Association media release, 14 January 2016

The Public Health Association of New Zealand (PHA) is questioning the rush to sign the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and says there remain too many unanswered questions; too much public unease; and a palpable lack of detailed analysis for us to be adding our signature so quickly.

“We may be flattered to have been selected as the country where the TPP will be signed in February, but that shouldn't distract us from the very real questions and concerns around this agreement,” says PHA Chief Executive Warren Lindberg.

“Disquiet has been prominent in the news of late, coming from a number of fronts including copyright and education. This indicates that full analysis of just what this agreement will cost the various sectors has not been done.

“There has also been very little legal or academic analysis or commentary. The document amounts to 6000 or more complex pages and has been public knowledge for far too short a time for proper analysis, so why we’re so hell bent on signing is perplexing.”

Media reports indicate the US Congress is not likely to sign the TPP it until after federal elections in November and indications are that US lawmakers will want substantive changes.

“Even if you don't accept that the TPP is already a potential time bomb for New Zealand, it just doesn't make sense to sign an international agreement that could well change to our detriment,” Lindberg says

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Instead the PHA is suggesting New Zealand takes the valuable few months it still has and that the agreement be sent to Select Committee so thorough public and political analysis can take place before anything is signed.

“There has been no official opportunity for people to comment, or for issues specific to New Zealand to have been analysed in detail,” Lindberg says.

“Considering the widespread and substantial misgivings around the TPP and the time we have up our sleeve, there is nothing to stop us doing this.”

Lindberg says arguments that most of the population is happy with the agreement, or that those opposed are just anti-trade, are either seriously misinformed or disingenuous. He says the PHA and others are in favour of international trade where it doesn't impinge on the real or potential wellbeing of New Zealand’s people.

“We’re most concerned with the health implications, such as the cost and accessibility of pharmaceuticals – and other issues that would impact our health system and how we combat inequalities here at home. These are real issues we’re struggling with even before this deal becomes a done thing.”

Lindberg says the ISDS clauses which can be used by multinationals to sue governments also remain a serious concern, with the latest example being energy firm TransCanada Corp suing the Obama Government for its withdrawal from an oil agreement.

“We may think that barring big tobacco from using the ISDS clauses has put the issue to bed. It hasn't, and there remain plenty of other multinationals prepared to further their own interests at the expense of smaller economies like ours – such as big pharma, big food and big energy.

“If we act in haste now, the repenting we do at leisure may well be very unpleasant. The Government has both the time and the means to ensure the TPP is more thoroughly examined and should not waste what opportunity there is left.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy


It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is... Then how come New Zealand has enjoyed a double AA+ credit rating from the international rating agencies for so long? If we have truly been in the thrall of incompetent tax, spend and borrow extremists for the past six years, how come our net government debt burden is only in the middling average of OECD countries, and how come our government debt-to-GDP ratio – however you measure it – is less than half the average for the Asia-Pacific region?..
More


 
 


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Budget Will Be Delivered On 30 May

Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence, and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, says Nicola Willis... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.