Media Release, TPP Watch. Thursday, 10 February 2011
National organisations representing tens of thousands of people and more than 800 individuals have signed a letter to Prime Minister John Key demanding more openness in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Ahead of next week’s negotiations in Santiago, signatories to the open letter are calling for the text of the TPPA to be released for public scrutiny, along with any government position papers, and for New Zealand negotiators to get all the countries involved to agree collectively to this minimum level of transparency.
Signatories include the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and affiliates, the Society of Authors, Oxfam, church leaders, social justice groups, open Internet advocates, political parties and campaigners against foreign investment.
Open source technology and open government advocate Daniel Spector said that setting up a 100 year so-called “trade” agreement was short-sighted and foolhardy.
“Working under a veil of secrecy to create 100-year agreements with foreign governments is a challenge to our democracy. Decisions made in secret now will affect citizens for literally a century to come, and will damage the options of every future government of our own nation for effecting positive change as their electorates would desire.”
“It is essential that the text of TPPA be made public as it is developed, for appropriate consideration of the citizenry,” he said.
Robert Reid, General Secretary of the National Distribution Union said that trade unions and other organisations were sick and tired of agreements such as the TPPA being negotiated in secret.
“The issues that are being negotiated are not just about trade in goods they are about issues of economic sovereignty of New Zealand, and whether democratically elected governments of New Zealand will have the power to regulate the activities of multinational companies and investors.”
“Over the last few days we have seen statements of John Key contradicted by US trade negotiators. It is only by releasing the text that we will be able to see who is telling the truth.
“It’s time to shine the light on these clandestine negotiations,” he said.
The Open Letter is here: http://tppwatch.org/what-is-tppa/release-the-text