The Green Party supports fair trade, that enforces human rights and protects our environment. We vocally opposed the original TPP, and we’re continuing the fight against the CPTPP – but we need your voice to help us push for fair, progressive trade policy, now and in the future.
We must make sure that trade agreements don’t sign away our sovereignty to multinational giants. We’re pleased that the Labour-led Government is moving in the right direction with the proposed Trade For All agenda – but we’re not happy that they’ve reversed their position and signed New Zealand up to the CPTPP, the so called ‘revised’ TPPA. It’s a dangerous agreement that restricts our government’s ability to look after future generations of New Zealanders. It’s virtually the same as the original TPPA which we marched against arm and arm with hundreds of thousands of concerned Kiwis just a couple of years ago.
What does this Bill do?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Amendment Bill changes our domestic laws to give effect to the CPTPP. In New Zealand every time the government joins a trade agreement that requires changes to our laws, we have to pass a bill through Parliament.
The Green Party opposes the CPTPP for a few key reasons:
- ISDS: The CPTPP contains ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) clauses that allow multinationals to sue our government to stop policy that’s in the public interest if it affects their profits. ISDS is symptomatic of archaic trade policy that prioritises attracting investment over protecting our planet and people. Worryingly, the clauses could also have significant implications on the ability of the government to fulfil its Treaty of Waitangi obligations.
- Opening the door to suspended provisions: The Government has celebrated suspended provisions which allow us to protect some public interests against the ISDS. But it’s also possible that the suspended provisions negotiated out of the old TPP could be reintroduced, if other countries (such as the USA) decided to re-enter the CPTPP. That would threaten our world leading Pharmac model and could push up the price of lifesaving medicines, or even our ability to regulate tobacco. This legislation signs away our Parliament's right to say no to that.
- Environment and human rights: In the CPTPP, as in the original TPP, environmental protection and human rights are peripheral and vaguely defined considerations – which means they’re easy to get around, and difficult to enforce. In a 21st century trade agreement, we don’t think this is good enough.
- Lack of transparency: Finally, Labour signed up to the CPTPP under a shroud of secrecy, without consulting Kiwis on what they thought first. The Greens stand for open and transparent government, and we don’t think this process constitutes transparency.
Questions to consider in your submission:
- Why do you oppose the CPTPP?
- What would it take for you to support it?
- How do you think the process of negotiating and signing the CPTPP could have been improved? Should the public have been involved?
- What should New Zealand prioritise when negotiating trade agreements?
- What role should international trade agreements play in addressing the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, such as climate change, refugee crises, and global inequality?