The governments of nine countries are currently negotiating in secret for a far-reaching agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). John Key’s Government doesn’t want us to see the NZ position or any of the text until it is signed and sealed and cannot be changed.
The TPPA is being branded a free trade agreement, but trade is only a minor part. As well as trade, the agreement covers foreign investment rules, empowering foreign companies to sue our government, opening our services to more international competition, restricting our right to regulate, pharmaceutical costs, intellectual property rights, and preventing use of government procurement to help local firms.
It would give special rights to foreign investors, including the ability to sue governments for passing laws that might affect their profits – like Philip Morris is threatening against countries that have introduced plain packaging of cigarettes – and threatens the survival of Pharmac that makes medicines affordable to New Zealanders.
Civil society groups, like TPP Watch, are currently campaigning to have the draft texts of the TPPA and the various country positions released for public scrutiny.Go here to read the open letter to prime minister key. Sign on to the Release the Text campaign here.
Hat tip - Frogblog