INDEPENDENT NEWS

Secret trade negotiations undermining NZ’s democracy

Published: Mon 27 Jul 2015 04:05 PM
Secret trade negotiations undermining New Zealand’s democracy
This week, trade ministers and officials from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) meet in Maui in an attempt to finalise the agreement.
Oxfam New Zealand has repeatedly expressed concern about the secrecy surrounding the negotiating texts and the potential impacts of the TPPA on future models of trade agreements in the Pacific as well as access to medicines for people living in poverty in New Zealand and in other countries.
On the eve of the latest talks, Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier said:
“It is unacceptable that at this late stage of negotiations, the text of this sweeping agreement is still being kept secret from New Zealanders. It is vital that the texts are made publically available before any agreement is signed so that we can know the full extent of how it will affect us. We also need to know what rights the TPPA will give overseas corporations to sue our government when laws are made in the public interest which threaten those corporations’ profits. These questions are fundamental to the exercise of our democratic rights.
“We are also concerned about the impact it might have on people living in poverty in other TPPA countries. The potential for the agreement to raise the prices of medicines, especially in Vietnam, is extremely worrying.
“Because trade agreements often set precedents for subsequent trade agreements, the TPPA is likely to have flow-on effects to other regions. This makes the TPPA a concern for Pacific island countries, which are especially economically vulnerable to changes in trade rules. Any agreement with such profound impacts cannot be concluded in secret. The text must be released immediately and well before it is signed,” she said.
Ends

Next in New Zealand politics

On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation
By: Gordon Campbell
Green Party: 'Fruitful discussions ... further discussions to have'
By: RNZ
No changes to border exemptions after fishing crew test Covid-19 positive
By: RNZ
Labour-led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency
By: Public Service Association
New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate
By: Statistics New Zealand
Judith Collins: Obese people must take responsibility for 'personal choices'
By: RNZ
Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory
By: The Maori Party
On Four-year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy
By: Gordon Campbell
The NZ election saw record vote volatility — what does that mean for the next Labour government?
By: The Conversation
Election Night Results For The 2020 General Election
By: Electoral Commission
On Why The Greens Shouldn’t Join The Government
By: Gordon Campbell
A Government For All NZ Must Be Diverse - Greens Co-Leader
By: RNZ
Government Will Be Formed 'Within The Next Two To Three Weeks' - Jacinda Ardern
By: RNZ
Election Delivers High Expectations For Working People
By: E tu
Businesses Need Predictability And Acceleration
By: Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media