Business must not dominate trade debate

Published: Wed 11 Apr 2018 09:52 AM
It's Our Future press release Tuesday 10 April 2018
"It’s Our Future wants to amplify the voice of the people in the debate on trade policy,” says Oliver Hailes, spokesperson for the national network of TPPA opponents, anticipating the Government’s consultation to be launched in the coming weeks. “We’re very worried that media and business are trying to predetermine the outcome before consultation even begins.”
Monday’s editorial in the Dominion Post opposed Minister Parker’s plans because “the public may not deliver a well-reasoned response”, and BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said “it would be concerning if there was a fundamental view that we actually needed to take a different direction”.
Mr Hailes said this elitist attitude simply affirms the long-standing opposition of It’s Our Future to the way economic treaties are negotiated in secret.
“Corporations are hardwired to focus on their private profits, so of course they’re not concerned that these treaties make it very difficult to regulate in the public interest.
“When the Government faces mounting pressure to tackle social inequalities and runaway climate change, business must not be allowed to dominate the trade debate.
“Any serious attempt to address these issues will require a trade policy that prioritises the health of people and the planet rather than the wealth of foreign investors and multinational corporations.
“No wonder the people of Aotearoa are itching to have their say.”

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