TPPA to remain smoke-room story in New Zealand

| February 17, 2015

The New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser, has reaffirmed his government’s stance of not releasing controversial negotiating documents relating to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, according to a story by Jamie Morton for the New Zealand Herald.

This is despite a letter published in The Lancet in which 27 health leaders in Australasia, the US, Canada, Malaysia and Chile had called for public disclosure of the full draft text of the agreement.

The TPPA, which has been negotiated behind closed doors during the past several years, is purportedly aimed at creating a regional ‘free’ trade agreement involving 12 Asia-Pacific countries.

But Otago University senior clinical lecturer, Dr. Erik Monasterio, one of the co-lead authors of the letter, claimed the agreement threatened governmental ability to deliver affordable health care and legislate to protect public health and reduce health inequities.

“The negotiations are not about the way most of us think of trade – you and me buying and selling things,” he was quoted as saying.

“Instead they are protecting the massive investment profits of multinational companies that are bigger than the whole New Zealand economy.”

Monasterio feared that under the TPPA governments could be sued for protecting health, but that governments could not sue back.

“This will stop important health initiatives on tobacco, alcohol, the obesity epidemic, climate change, antibiotic resistance, and other major future challenges,” he said.

Category: Breaking News

Comments are closed.