INDEPENDENT NEWS

TPPA rebrand betrays the national interest

Published: Fri 23 Feb 2018 08:42 AM
22 February 2018
Press release - It’s Our Future NZ
For immediate release
TPPA rebrand betrays the national interest and our progressive values
‘It’s Our Future continues to oppose the ironic rebrand of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,’ says Oliver Hailes, spokesperson for New Zealand’s network of opponents to the economic treaty, which was released to the public yesterday.
‘The final text and the National Interest Analysis (NIA) simply affirm our longstanding position that New Zealand is going to give up important aspects of its sovereignty for a trifling increase in GDP — between 0.3 and 1.0 per cent by 2038, according to the NIA.’
‘Anyhow, the new Government can hardly hang its hat on GDP alone when its Ministers have declared so many times that they now measure New Zealand’s prosperity with more progressive values.’
Mr Hailes takes issue with the NIA claim the treaty deserves its new label as "comprehensive” and “progressive”. The commitments to labour and environmental standards were already included in the last version and are very weak when compared to the investment chapter and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.
‘Foreign investors can still sue us for billions if we significantly erode their profits by regulating in the interests of workers, public health and the environment, despite the government’s claims that such measures can‘t be challenged.’
‘Nowhere in the 6,000 pages of text does it mention the words “climate change”. Not even once.’
‘What makes us even more indignant’, says Mr Hailes, ‘is that the governing parties promised they would not ratify this treaty when they were in opposition. And now they’re leading the charge.’
He points out that the text released yesterday is exactly the same as the one that Labour and New Zealand First MPs marched against, except for the 22 suspensions which can be revived. It contains the core provisions that were predicted to restrict the ability of Parliament to make laws in the interests of all New Zealanders.
‘The Greens continue to oppose the treaty, but they’ve been pretty quiet. And no one in Parliament seems to be giving voice to Māori concerns raised in the Waitangi Tribunal.’
‘That’s why we’re pushing ahead with our petition to reform the process for negotiating trade and investment deals. We’ll oppose the signing and we’ll demand answers during the parliamentary examination.’
‘We’re adamant this treaty contains all the wrong rules for New Zealand’s future. The world economy’s moving from Big Oil to Big Data. This agreement threatens to place a frightening price tag on pursuing the policies we need to get out of last century’s fossil-fuelled economy.’
‘At the same time, it prevents public oversight of this century’s data-driven economy by empowering the multinational corporations who hoard intellectual property, control the global tech infrastructure and avoid paying their fair share of tax. All at the expense of voters, workers, consumers, taxpayers, patients and their environment.’
‘It’s even more tragic when these are exactly the people who the Government promised to serve.
The TPPA rebrand betrays the national interest and our progressive values.’
ENDS

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