With every new chapter of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) leaked to the Internet the list of reasons to oppose the TPPA grow. The latest leaked chapter is no exception. With so many negative provisions risking our society, economy and sovereignty it’s little wonder the Government wants to keep it from the public. Overnight, Wikileak’s release of another chapter of the TPPA, this time concerning the environment, demonstrates National’s continuing failure to protect the environment. It appears they are quite comfortable giving corporations strong enforcement powers when it comes to copyright or mining issues but not environmental protection. This latest chapter confirms that the “gold standard” rules, and their enforcement, that we would expect from a leading 21st century trade agreement only serve to benefit corporate interests, and further risk environmental protection efforts. It’s nothing short of absurd that a modern agreement like the TPPA doesn’t address critical issues like climate change and biodiversity loss. University of Auckland Professor Jane Kelsey has an excellent summary piece here.
The Greens are firmly opposed to the TPPA, and we’re not alone. Any negotiation this sweeping, anything that has the potential to so radically undermine our sovereignty, needs to be public. Key and his Cabinet are intent on keeping this behind closed doors until it’s too late. That’s not okay, and it’s why we’ve called on secret squirrel Trade Minister Tim Groser to release the text.