Category: Uncategorized

Nationwide action against the TPPA – Oliver Hailes

“Beginning this weekend, It’s Our Future is hosting events throughout the country in opposition to the signing of the TPPA,” says Oliver Hailes, spokesperson for New Zealand’s network of opponents to the controversial economic treaty. “Starting on Saturday in Nelson, concerned Kiwis will gather to let the Government know that they do not consent to the signing ceremony in Chile this Thursday,” he said. “When the Government shuts the people out of the process, we must build our own platforms.” Further events are being held on Sunday in Auckland, Whangarei, Dunedin and New Plymouth, and on the day of signing (Thursday 8 March) in Christchurch and outside Parliament in Wellington. Mr Hailes points out that the revised text is exactly the same as the one that Labour and NZ First MPs marched against in 2016, except for 22 suspensions that are bound to be revived. “They’ve failed to follow through on their promise to undertake an independent cost-benefit analysis. This week a poll commissioned by ActionStation confirmed that 75% of New Zealanders still want that independent analysis before signing up.” During parliamentary debate on Wednesday, Golriz Ghahraman MP for the Green Party was the only voice who challenged the Government’s sudden change in policy: “We need to make trade fair and fit to serve our needs in the 21st century, instead of ceding sovereignty to foreign investors.” “We tautoko...

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Open letter to Trade Minister David Parker – Jane Kelsey

Thank you for your invitation to join you in Chile on 8th March, at my own expense, for the signing of the resurrected Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that your own party in Opposition said was seriously flawed. I’m afraid that is not my idea of inclusion. I want and expect people to be engaged with and listened to during the entire decision-making process and for negotiations to be based on a genuinely progressive mandate and conducted in a democratically transparent way. Instead, I will be spending 8th March in Colombo, where I hope to contribute to more positive outcomes by presenting at an UNCTAD High-Level Policymakers Workshop on digital trade and e-commerce – an issue of major concern in the TPPA that you are about to sign and with which your government has still not come to grips. Perhaps former trade minister Todd McClay, who says he was not invited to the signing, would like to take my place? Yours sincerely Professor Jane Kelsey Faculty of Law The University of Auckland New...

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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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