Join the Revolution

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shut it down

Martin Henderson as an environmental activist in Battle in Seattle.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations are coming to Auckland between 3 and 15 December this year.

The TPP is a free trade agreement being negotiated in secret between the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Mexico and Canada will join the negotiations in Auckland.

As the NGO TPPWatch describe the TPP, 'Trade is only a minor part of the agreement. That’s just a clever branding exercise. A TPPA would be an agreement that guarantees special rights to foreign investors. If these negotiations succeed they will create a mega-treaty across 9 countries that will put a straight jacket around what policies and laws our governments can adopt for the next century – think GM labelling, foreign investment laws, price of medicines, regulating dodgy finance firms, NZ content on TV …'

Actor Martin Henderson who starred in the film Battle in Seattle, supports the campaign against the TPP, 'Spending time away has made me understand how fortunate we are to have everything that makes being a Kiwi so unique and special. A Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would put at risk the best of New Zealand to give more power to foreign corporations. We have so much to lose with this shonky deal: control of our land and natural resources, affordable medicine, cultural diversity.'

In just a few days the internet campaign website Avazz has collected 627,000 signatures opposing the deal.

Law Professor and anti-corporate activist Jane Kelsey has set out the threat of the TPP to democracy,
Most discussion of constraints on the government's right to regulate has centred on tobacco controls. But a raft of other policies could also prompt investor complaints. Imposing a capital gains tax. Slashing Sky City's pokie numbers, especially if National guarantees more in a Convention Centre contract. More stringent mine safety laws, a ban on fracking, iwi approval for drilling in wahi tapu, or tighter regulation of mining by companies the government has invited to tender. Capping electricity price increases. Tighter alcohol retail laws. Reversing ACC privatisation, as Labour did before. Stronger finance sector regulation, such as capping a bank's market share or banning crossover retail, investment and insurance activity.
The TPP must be stopped, it can be stopped.  In 1999 tens of thousands of union, environmental and student protesters shut down the talks of the World Trade Organisation to create a global TPP style agreement known as the Global agreement on Trade in Services or Gats. The date of the protest November 30 is still remembered as a historic victory for people power. The protests helped stop a global corporate power grab and ignited what became known as the anti-globalisation movement.

As National prepares to host the TPP negotiations in Auckland this December we have a unique opportunity to show the world that Aotearoa is not for sale and to shut down the TPP. Massive protests could disrupt the talks, derail the negotiations and shine a spotlight on this secret attack on democracy.

-SA

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