The government today released the almost final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The lengthy delay has raised questions about whether the Ministers really knew what it was they were signing. It is already 30 days since Trade Ministers concluded the agreement, and there are still further adjustments to be made.
“The belated release of this TPPA document agreed by Trade Ministers a month ago is a shameful reminder of the secrecy, spin and corporate deal-making that has characterised this shabby deal,” said It’s our Future spokesperson coalition, Barry Coates.
After six years of secrecy, the government is still refusing to release the analysis and background documents.
“The Minister for Trade tried to justify the secrecy by saying that trade negotiations are always secret. But the TPPA negotiations have been undemocratic in the extreme and the standard of transparency is far below the usual practice in other negotiations, including the World Trade Organisation. The EU has already proposed far greater transparency in a new agreement,” said Barry Coates.
“The government has used the past month since the TPPA was concluded to desperately spin the deal as a saviour of the New Zealand economy, using half-truths and exaggeration to try to paint a rosy picture. It hasn’t worked,” Coates commented.
“The TPPA devil will be in the detail, especially since large corporations and their legal experts have been given privileged access throughout the negotiations. It is time to show the public what’s really in the TPPA, instead of the spin. We need an objective and thorough analysis of the costs and benefits, the risks toNew Zealand and the threats to our sovereign decision-making.”
“The TPPA isn’t over. It is unlikely to be signed by governments until February next year at the earliest. It’s our Future coalition, and hundreds of thousands of supporters across New Zealand, have brought unprecedented scrutiny to this complex agreement. We will not go away. We aim to build a massive public outcry to stop the TPPA from being signed. It’s not too late. Don’t sign!”
Saturday 14 November will be the next Day of Action to stop the TPPA, as concerned citizens around New Zealand tell the government not to sign the agreement. Marches and rallies are planned in at least 14 cities across the country.
For further information, contact It’s Our Future spokesperson Barry Coates, on 021 365 165.