New Zealand Green Party Uniting International Counterparts to Criticize TPP

While the focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Canadian media has simply been that any trade deal is a good deal for Canada, the New Zealand Green Party has been busy trying to raise awareness over the dangerous known propvisions within the secretive agreement. They are not only taking their fight to the government level, but also the international level as well.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

When German chancellor Angela Merkel visited Canada last week, the Canadian media, particularly the broadcast media, simply portrayed the visit as a clear sign that Canada is still having an impact on the world. While the TPP was mentioned in passing, the portrayal of it was that it was just a European agreement that is simply in Canada’s best interest. One article published by the Globe and Mail even went so far as to say that it was “mystifying” that a stumbling block was Canada being unable to “upgrade” intellectual property laws. While much of the media coverage was little more than, arguably, propaganda for the agreements, the Green Party is now beginning to fight back in an effort to inform people around the world of what is really going on with agreements like the TPP.

A joint statement between the New Zealand Green Party, the Australian Green Party and the Canadian Green Party was published yesterday hitting many of the criticisms of the agreement:

As the Green parliamentary political parties of three nations whose governments are currently in the process of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), we are issuing this joint statement to express our serious concern at the fundamentally undemocratic and non-transparent nature of the agreement.

Following the leaking of the draft investment chapter of the TPPA the Greens are extremely concerned that the TPPA agreement has the potential to undermine the ability of our governments to perform effectively. More than just another trade agreement, the TPPA provisions could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.

We believe that the process should be transparent. This agreement has been negotiated behind closed doors with a level of secrecy that is completely unacceptable in a democratic society.

The statement goes into decent depth on why the TPP is bad news for any democratic society. Many of these points were previously covered here on ZeroPaid. While the transparency issue has been continuously touched on when we discuss the agreement, we specifically targeted points like the fact that the TPP would allow corporations to literally operate above any local law (as long as the headquarters is located outside the country and it even gives multinational corporations the right to sue the local government for trying to get it to abide by any local law or regulation), the unprecedented intellectual property provisions (which would create unprecedented censorship matching what was feared in SOPA and create an international three strikes law regime for copyright – something that even the French government now backtracking due it being wasteful and it failing to even reduce piracy in the first place), and it even further restricts copyright limitations and exceptions.

The statement is gaining some air-play in New Zealand with the statement making an appearance on the New Zealand version of MSN and News Talk ZB. It even briefly touched Australian news as well with the joint statement also making an appearance in Sky News Australia.

One can only hope that news of the concerns over the TPP spreads because debate about the TPP is sorely needed in places like Canada right now.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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