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