Month: February 2018

Nationwide Day of Action against the TPPA-11

TPPA – It’s Our Future! Don’t Sign! Nationwide Day of Action   Our day of action has now morphed into a week of action in centers around the country. Our government is set to sign the rebranded Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) along with 10 other nations in Chile on the 8th March. Following the collapse of the TPPA in the wake of the US withdrawal, the election of the new Government put a spring in the step of many. The Labour Party, New Zealand First and the Green Party had all said they would not...

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TPPA rebrand betrays the national interest and our progressive values – Oliver Hailes

‘It’s Our Future continues to oppose the ironic rebrand of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,’ says Oliver Hailes, spokesperson for New Zealand’s network of opponents to the economic treaty, which was released to the public yesterday. ‘The final text and the National Interest Analysis (NIA) simply affirm our longstanding position that New Zealand is going to give up important aspects of its sovereignty for a trifling increase in GDP — between 0.3 and 1.0 per cent by 2038, according to the NIA.’ ‘Anyhow, the new Government can hardly hang its hat on GDP alone when its Ministers have declared so many times that they now measure New Zealand’s prosperity with more progressive values.’ Mr Hailes takes issue with the NIA claim the treaty deserves its new label as “comprehensive” and “progressive”. The commitments to labour and environmental standards were already included in the last version and are very weak when compared to the investment chapter and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. ‘Foreign investors can still sue us for billions if we significantly erode their profits by regulating in the interests of workers, public health and the environment, despite the government’s claims that such measures can‘t be challenged.’ ‘Nowhere in the 6,000 pages of text does it mention the words “climate change”. Not even once.’ ‘What makes us even more indignant’, says Mr Hailes, ‘is that the governing parties promised they would...

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US and Canada to drop ISDS from NAFTA. NZ should insist on the same for TPPA-11 – Jane Kelsey

Canada and the US are set to agree on withdrawing the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico, according to reports from the US overnight.[1] ‘That would signal the death knell for its inclusion in future US deals, and presumably make the removal of ISDS a red-line were the US to re-engage with the TPPA-11’, says Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey. ‘The rationale for suspending, rather than removing, provisions from the TPPA was to make it easier for the US to re-join. Logically, they should now drop the ISDS mechanism. Yet the core investor protections and the right to enforce them through controversial ISDS tribunals have not even been suspended in the TPPA-11. They remain fully intact.’ Professor Kelsey points to these developments with NAFTA as a prime opportunity for our government to take the lead, consistent with its principled position against ISDS, and to provide stronger protections for New Zealand. ‘The Labour-led government tried to have the ISDS process suspended in the TPPA-11, after the Prime Minister declared it was “a dog” and that officials were instructed to exclude it from future agreements. Unfortunately, they failed.’ ‘Instead, New Zealand is left in the unacceptable position of relying on side letters with an undisclosed number of countries who promise not to allow ISDS claims against...

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TPPA-11 National Interest Analysis is recycled spin, Labour squanders opportunity for real change – Jane Kelsey

‘The revised National Interest Analysis (NIA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement minus the US (TPPA-11), released today, layers new spin onto old’, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey. ‘It is disappointing to see Labour and New Zealand First squander the chance to clean up a treaty making process which they have previously criticised. If anything, the democratic deficit has deteriorated further, making a mockery of the new government’s promise of a “progressive and inclusive” approach to negotiations.’ Labour and NZ First ignored calls for a genuinely independent analysis and a health impact analysis they made in their dissenting opinions at the select committee on the original agreement. ‘Instead, we have a propaganda exercise, prepared by officials who negotiated the agreement for a government that has already nailed its colours to the mast. It patently fails to justify Labour and NZ First’s decision to sign a deal they have previously opposed.’ Professor Kelsey describes the quality of this NIA as ‘even worse than the original, because in summarising the impacts it treats the 20-odd suspended items, for example affecting medicines and Pharmac, as if they have been permanently removed. The assumptions underlying their economic projections are untenable, and blanket assurances on the right to regulate for health, environment and Treaty of Waitangi are misleading. Any suggesting that alternative analyses can be submitted to the select committee is, she...

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Video of TPPA-11 – Auckland Let’s Not Do This? Public Meeting

Video of TPPA-11 – Auckland Let’s Not Do This? Public Meeting 12 Feb 2018   As the government prepares to sign us up to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, the country has been lulled into a false sense of security that came with our change in government and a rebranding of a not so comprehensive and progressive deal. Our government is set to sign the rebranded Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) along with 10 other nations in Chile on the 8th March. The sense of outrage that the majority of our nation expressed during many rallies in...

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