Press Release – Council of Trade Unions

Trade Minister puts global pharmacy giants ahead of his constituents Workers are set to lose out big time with rising healthcare costs if the government signs New Zealand up to a secretive investment deal no one seems to want, the CTU said today. …Trade Minister puts global pharmacy giants ahead of his constituents

Workers are set to lose out big time with rising healthcare costs if the government signs New Zealand up to a secretive investment deal no one seems to want, the CTU said today.

Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations are at a crunch point, with extended talks in Hawaii at the end of the month.

Today, three senior medical specialists have detailed the significant risks to New Zealand’s health sector if the agreement is signed.

“Trade Minister Tim Groser arrogantly dismisses the concerns of doctors and a range of other health professionals at his peril,” said Sam Huggard, CTU Secretary.

“Who are the public to believe on this matter?

“A Trade Minister who is signing up New Zealand to a secret document, the text of which won’t be disclosed until four years after signing, that puts overseas drug companies ahead New Zealand patients?”

“Or experienced professionals on the front line of our health sector, who see on a daily basis the benefits of our New Zealand drug buying agency Pharmac, delivering savings to the health sector of over $1 billion annually.”

“Tim Groser can crassly say that the health sector’s position is ideological, but as the three doctors said themselves this morning, “as doctors, our ideology is that the tobacco industry should have no right to claim payback for loss of profit when a government acts to control its product that kills.”

“Very few New Zealanders are convinced that the TPPA is a good deal,” Sam Huggard said.

“Opposition has been significant, across health, intellectual property, computer technology and environment sectors, among Maori, and members of the public who don’t want the New Zealand government to be sued in shonky offshore tribunals for making decisions that are in the public interest.”

“John Key needs to rein Tim Groser in, and tell him to put New Zealand ahead of global big business,” Sam Huggard said.

ENDS

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