Criptic Critic Conscience and Known for it

Thursday, March 10, 2016

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I oppose the TPPA on the suggestion that it does the following:

1. It strengthens corporate power

By giving foreign corporations in the TPPA the power to sue the New Zealand government in unaccountable offshore tribunals of corporate lawyers when their profits are threatened.
By giving foreign corporations the right to be consulted over changes New Zealand governments want to make.
By encouraging offshoring of production and jobs.

2. It weakens public services

By increasing commercialisation of services that should be provided by the government and making privatisation harder to reverse
By preventing publicly owned entities like SOEs and public broadcasting from acting in the public interest if they operate internationally, and from favouring local suppliers
By increasing the pressure on Pharmac from the big pharmaceutical companies and raising medicine prices
By undermining public health measures
By giving corporates greater say over government decisions

3. It makes it harder to support the development of high-value, high-wage industries

By making it harder to use government procurement and SOEs to support local suppliers and improve working conditions
By preventing governments from favouring local service suppliers
By increasing exporters’ dependence on supply chains that favour large multinationals

4. It brings tiny economic benefits but is likely to increase inequality

It is as if your employer came to you and said “I’ll give you a 0.9 percent pay rise in 15 years time on condition I have a lot more control over your life from now on.”
It could reduce the share of the nation’s income that workers receive, so all the benefits (and more) go to investors

5. It greatly reduces sovereignty: the ability of future elected governments to make changes in the interests of New Zealand working people

Or put another way, I oppose the TPPA, in that it suggests that it will:

Take away our democratic right to decide our own laws and policies in ways that best serve the national interest

Put corporate interests ahead of urgent priorities like climate change, affordable medicines, internet freedom, quality jobs, social justice

Allow foreign companies to sue us for taking measures to protect the environment or public health in ways that damage their profits

Give foreign investors special rights not available to New Zealanders and a guarantee that government won’t restrict foreign purchases of residential homes and land or control of key sectors

Bind New Zealand governments to a pro-corporate agenda for the indefinite future, in violation of our democracy, sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi.

I strongly object to the way in which this Government has abused its power to hurt NZ democracy, and its failure to demonstrate the important principles of transparency, honesty and public accountability.

Tao Wells

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