John Key was recently in Oxford, North Canterbury for the reopening of a newly refurbished town hall to which he was greeted by a group of local protestors raising their concerns regarding the highly controversial secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

In an attempt to ease the minds of those in attendance, Key gives a 2 minute public relations address to try persuade the public that the so called ‘free-trade agreement’ has tons of benefits for New Zealand, including the opening up of the American and Japanese markets by removal of all import tariffs, but fails to mention anything to do with the other 20 odd chapters which have nothing to do with trade. While the agreement is completely secret and the only information we have so far is from leaked texts via Wikileaks, what we do know is that nearly everything he said is pure misinformation. The crucial point Key forgot to mention is that America is not removing any tariffs on imports until 2030, so the benefit, if any, that New Zealand gains from the agreement in terms of trade will not be realised until 15 years down the track.

A recent report from the Sustainability Council shows the true benefits from the agreement to New Zealand are estimated to be a quarter of the figures currently being spouted by the government and trade councils, and believe overall the negatives would outweigh any positives.

Another voice raising concerns is that of Victoria University Senior Associate Dr Geoff Bertram, who said “they’ve been under pressure to produce big numbers, and they’ve produced big numbers but in the process they’ve lost the plot. From what I can see on the public record I’m not convinced, [it is] not a good idea – in fact it could be a bad idea. I would see quite a strong possibility that drug companies will be able to force Pharmac to use more of their product and less generics and that means higher drug costs.”

Dr Bertram is not alone. Health advocates like forensic psychiatrist and senior clinical lecturer with the University of Otago and Christchurch School of Clinical Medicine, Dr Erik Monasterio, along with 27 health leaders in Australia, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, USA, and Vietnam, including leaders of the World Medical Association and World Federation of Public Health Associations are all leading the call for the public release and transparent discussion on the broad impact on health the TPPA will have before anything is signed.

“The negotiations are not about the way most of us think of trade – you and me buying and selling things. Instead they are protecting the massive investments profits of multinational companies that are bigger than the whole New Zealand economy. They want to make sure that countries won’t be able to pass laws or change policies, no matter how important to the local country, if that would cut profits of an overseas investor.

“It’s an unprecedented expansion of intellectual property rights that will push up the cost of affordable and life‐saving medicines, hitting hardest the already vulnerable households in New Zealand and other countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia’”, says Dr Monasterio.

“We are asking for health impact assessments, for each nation, and then their public release, so that parliaments and the public can discuss the issues– before political trade‐offs are made and the agreement is signed.”

Health isn’t the only thing at stake. There is also a very concerning clause in the TPPA called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which gives international corporations the ability to sue our government directly if our policy makers decide to introduce any new legislation which will affect their corporate profits. An example of this is Philip Morris Tobacco which is currently in the process of suing the Australian government under a 1993 trade agreement with Hong Kong over the plain package cigarettes introduced to curb the harm caused by tobacco. American comedian John Oliver covers how ridiculous the ISDS is in this video. If the TPPA is signed with its current ISDS provisions it would seriously fetter New Zealand’s sovereignty, and the ability of our government to look out for our interests. We elect our governments, and should be able to rely on them to pass laws and implement policies to protect and grow New Zealand.

It’s clear the government and mainstream media are failing to address any of the concerns the public are raising, and misinformed speeches like the above from John Key show just how eager our current leaders are to push this agreement over the line to please the American corporates to which they serve. We highly recommend doing some research on the TPPA and you will soon find out why so many Kiwis are standing up against this corporate takeover deal.

For those wanting a further rundown of the TPPA and the negative effects on New Zealand, please watch this short informative video.

In November last year, over 10,000 Kiwis marched against the TPPA sending a very clear message to the government. Now we need to make the 7th of March nationwide protest an even bigger event!

Currently protests are being held in 15 cities around the country and more are being added each week. Join us and thousands of other concerned kiwis as we make what could be our last stand to save our country’s sovereignty! Information can be found here.

Get up, stand up New Zealand! The future generations depend on our actions now. 

About The Author

Wake Up NZ is a team of dedicated truth-seekers from all over New Zealand. We are committed to disseminating information that the mainstream media fails to bring to you.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike

    Marx said the fastest way to Revolution was Free Trade. He, Trotsky and Engels supported it, as it increased the Class Contradictions.

    Question is, do you want revolution?

    Reply
    • wayne johnson

      mr keys has sold everything in nz to foregin nationals we don’t want that in Australia either and we don’t trust our pm to do the right thing either

      Reply

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