New Zealand Green Party Co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei today joined other legislators from Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru in seeking the release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) before it is signed.
Currently the countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement have agreed that the text for the agreement will not be released until negotiations conclude. All documents, other than the text, will then be held in confidence until four years after the agreement comes into force
“The public of New Zealand and our parliament deserve the opportunity to scrutinise and critique the TPPA before it is signed,” Dr Norman said today.
“So far the TPPA has been negotiated behind closed doors with a level of secrecy unacceptable in a democratic society.
“Parts of the trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States will be released for public scrutiny.
“The New Zealand public should therefore have the same opportunity to scrutinise the TPPA and see just what our negotiators are willing to give away.”
Recent revelations and leaks of the TPPA have shown that New Zealand has opposed the United States efforts to have countries within the TPPA follow existing global treaties.
“It is shameful that our negotiators are seeking to weaken efforts to protect the environment,” Dr Norman said.
“We can have little faith that these same negotiators will be doing anything to protect New Zealand’s environment.
“The TPPA will restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.
“The TPPA includes investor state provisions that will allow any one of the eleven other signatories provisions or multinational corporations that reside in their territories to sue New Zealand for any perceived breaches.
“Future governments that may wish to push for tougher environmental legislation in order to combat climate change may find themselves hamstrung by the actions of the Key Government and unelected officials,” said Dr Norman.
The Ministers of Trade from the twelve participating countries in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement convened in Singapore from 22 to 25 February 2014, it is understood that the negotiations are entering their final stages.
More information about the TPPA is available here