There will be large protests this Thursday against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is due to be signed at Skycity.  The government is not allowing citizens to have a vote on this major change to our economy - referenda are only for flags. 

Why unions oppose the TPPA. 

1.       It strengthens corporate power

  • By giving foreign corporations in the TPPA the power to sue the New Zealand government in unaccountable offshore tribunals of corporate lawyers when their profits are threatened.
  • By giving foreign corporations the right to be consulted over changes New Zealand governments want to make.
  • By encouraging offshoring of production and jobs.

 

2.       It weakens public services

  • By increasing commercialisation of services that should be provided by the government and making privatisation harder to reverse
  • By preventing publicly owned entities like SOEs and public broadcasting from acting in the public interest if they operate internationally, and from favouring local suppliers
  • By increasing the pressure on Pharmac from the big pharmaceutical companies and raising medicine prices
  • By undermining public health measures
  • By giving corporates greater say over government decisions

3.       It makes it harder to support the development of high-value, high-wage industries 

  • By making it harder to use government procurement and SOEs to support local suppliers and improve working conditions
  • By preventing governments from favouring local service suppliers
  • By increasing exporters’ dependence on supply chains that favour large multinationals

4.       It brings tiny economic benefits but is likely to increase inequality

  • It is as if your employer came to you and said “I’ll give you a 0.9 percent pay rise in 15 years time on condition I have a lot more control over your life from now on.”
  • It could reduce the share of the nation’s income that workers receive, so all the benefits (and more) go to investors

5.       It greatly reduces sovereignty: the ability of future elected governments to make changes in the interests of New Zealand working people

Submitted by

Gerard Hehir

Written 2/2/2016