The Trans Pacific Partnership: Death to Democracy

Published: Tue 30 Aug 2011 09:38 AM
The Trans Pacific Partnership: Death to Democracy
The TPP Action Group[i] is holding another visual protest outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Lambton Quay at lunchtime on Thursday 1 September--**--. This is to draw attention to the next round of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, in Chicago 6-15 September. The United States is expected to propose what could be controversial patent provisions and could also table a chapter that would place disciplines on pharmaceutical pricing. Intellectual property rights will also be on the table.
"It is a complete abrogation of our sovereignty and our democracy," says Mary Ellen O'Connor, spokesperson for the TPP Action Group. "These negotiations happen in secret, no-one gets to see the text until it is signed. MFAT signs off these deals, not the elected New Zealand Parliament. Furthermore, the TPP would tie the hands of future parliaments for making - not just trade policy - but policy of all kinds.
"The TPP gives foreign companies more power than NZ citizens! And that's not okay. We are a group of citizens terrified by what TPP could mean for the future, and determined to oppose it.
"The TPP would be enforceable in secret in international courts and tribunals. Foreign corporations would be able to sue the New Zealand government over legislation or court decisions they didn't like, such as recently happened with Philip Morris in Australia over cigarette labelling.
"TPP could close down our Pharmac scheme for buying drugs and subsidies. This would mean a significant hike in the price of medicines. It also has implications for protection of intellectual property in digital media.
"We will be standing in solidarity with people in the other eight signatory countries[ii] who also stand to lose out economically, socially and environmentally. We have only to look at what happened to Mexico with NAFTA to get an idea of what's in store for us. And the TPPA is NAFTA on steroids!!!!

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