Anne-Elise Smithson: New Zealand recently signed a free trade agreement with Korea. What does that really mean?

After signing an agreement with Korea, the TPPA is high on the priority list for our prime minister as I understand it. A good article about this is here:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/67516640/nz-could-be-sued-by-overseas-companies–leaked-tppa-docs

I am sceptical about applying the word ‘trade agreement’ to this. The TPPA is more than just a trade agreement. It could make it harder for us to protect our environment, hinder access to affordable medicines and stifle high-tech innovation.

But because the negotiations are happening in secret, much of what we know is coming from leaked documents. I believe that the public of New Zealand and our Parliament deserve the opportunity to scrutinise and critique the TPPA before it is signed. Leaked versions of the agreement have shown countries within the TPPA pushing for exemptions to existing global environmental protections.

I would support a fair, genuinely progressive trade agreement that promotes sustainable development and the creation of new jobs alongside the protection of the environment and human rights. And this is not what the TPPA appears to be offering – it appears to offer little more than a huge risk to New Zealand. 

– Anne-Elise Smithson, The Green Party.of Aotearoa New Zealand

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