NZ First aims to block TPPA

By Ripeka Timutimu

Some New Zealanders are still trying to block the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Minister for Trade Tim Groser has agreed to which involves 11 other countries.

Tim Groser made the announcement with representatives from the other countries from Atlanta this morning. But NZ First are opposing the deal, and making a last ditch effort to stop it in its tracks.

NZ First member, Fletcher Tabuteau is submitting a Private Member's Bill he hopes can block the deal. He says, “Parliament needs to be the ultimate decision maker, not a select few cabinet members.”

The TPPA covers 800 million people in 12 countries including NZ, Australia, Japan and the United States of America. Tabuteau says it has left NZ powerless to big corporate companies.

“The IS clause in this TPP does mean that international corporates will have the right to sue this government if their perceived profits are going to be affected,” said Tabuteau.

However Trade Minister Tim Groser paints a different picture.  He says NZ will see $259 million in tariff savings, with the meat, dairy and fruit and vegetable markets the biggest winners. The Māori Party are waiting to see the evidence of that.

According to Marama Fox, “We weren't present at the negotiations, so how do we know if we support it or not? Though I do have concerns about pharmaceuticals and the WAI 262 treaty claim. The devil is in the detail.”

Tabuteau is hoping to submit his bill this week for an urgent hearing in Parliament next week.