July 2017 It’s Our Future TPPA Bulletin out today, available here and reproduced below. Contains details of the new It’s Our Future election campaign: “A Trade Policy for the People”
Kia ora koutou,
I am pleased to announce that It’s Our Future will be launching a brand-new campaign on 10 August 2017 called “A Trade Policy for the People”.
This campaign will be directed towards the New Zealand political parties, asking that they sign on to the 10 bottom-lines for future trade and investment agreements that we announced in the last It’s Our Future bulletin. Our thanks again to all of you who contributed ideas and suggestions on these demands. The 10 bottom-lines, and further information about the campaign are available here.
We will be inviting the political parties to respond to our 10 bottom-lines from that date, and will later publicly rate their responses in advance of the September General Election so that voters concerned about the direction of New Zealand’s trade policy — particularly in light of the Zombie TPPA (read more below) — can decide how to cast their vote.
There will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in this campaign at that time, including postering, lobbying your local MPs, and whatever other actions you think are necessary to get the message through to our politicians that New Zealanders reject the idea of selling out our autonomy to look after ourselves and the environment in future trade and investment agreements. More details will be available closer to 10 August. Want to get involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
The campaign launch will be launched at an event at Parliament at 6pm on 10 August 2017. Professor Jane Kelsey and Sam Huggard, General Secretary at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, will both be speaking, followed by a panel discussion of the trade spokespeople for the major New Zealand political parties on the topic of “The need for a new trade agenda for the 21st century“. Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Campaigns Director for our friends ActionStation, will be MCing the discussion. Media and attendees from the public will be invited to put questions to the panel afterwards. To date, the Green Party, New Zealand First, and the Labour Party have all confirmed their attendance and we are waiting on others to reply. The event is being held at a room inside Parliament and will be invite-only because of limited space and security concerns, so please get in touch if you would like to attend.
Where are things at with the Zombie TPPA?
There have been some developments since our last Bulletin on the Zombie TPPA.
Trade officials from the 11 remaining TPPA countries met in Hakone, Japan between 12 and 14 July 2017 to negotiate towards the Zombie agreement. Indications from the negotiations suggest that the parties are still hoping to have the agreement concluded in time for a ministerial meeting on the sidelines of APEC in November. How feasible this is depends on whether or not the parties agree to go ahead without amending the substance of the TPPA. If they do not, then the negotiations will continue indefinitely as the various countries re-set their commitments now that the US is no longer part of the agreement. If this happens — and it would make sense — then the Zombie TPPA may die altogether. You can read more about the Hakone negotiations here and here.
- Laila Harre has recently released an analysis of the TPPA Labour chapter as part of the series of peer-reviewed analyses of the failed agreement. She has also written an accompanying op-ed for The Spinoff.
- The Policy Observatory at AUT has recently released a timely report: No more business as usual: Where to now for international trade? The report contains in depth analysis from a variety of academic commentators. You may not necessarily agree with the all the positions in the report, but it is a very good contribution to the discussion.
Ngā mihi koutou, keep posted and please get in touch at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments.
It’s Our Future Coordinator