INDEPENDENT NEWS

Alliance Party tells John Key “don’t do it” on TPP

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2010 10:48 AM
Alliance Party tells John Key “don’t do it” on TPP
The Alliance Party's advice to John Key on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement: "Just don't do it."
Will he listen? Not likely. But Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray points out that New Zealand will have about as much chance of calling the shots in a TPP free trade agreement as the Alliance Party does in influencing the policies of a National led government.
"I am an optimist. I live in hope that some of our excellent policies like fair trade, free education and healthcare or GST off food might be taken on board by the Prime Minister and his colleagues but I am not naïve enough to bet the family home on it. Yet this is exactly what New Zealand will be doing if we sign up to the TPP free trade agreement."
This agreement will have many downsides. For example, pharmaceutical companies could drive up the cost of medicines. There are already drugs that are considered too expensive for widespread use. Under the TPPA many more drugs may become too costly for people to buy.
There is also the spectre of large transnational corporations placing themselves outside local jurisdiction. There have already been examples of companies actually suing countries that refused to allow them to do such things as advertise harmful products like tobacco or to dump toxic waste where they please, citing free trade agreements.
“No government should be allowed to sign away the right of New Zealanders to determine their own economic, social and political destiny. This would be further eroded if we signed the TPPA,” said Ms Murray.
Ends

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