The Government this week got the message from those in the medical profession that they have significant concerns over the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Many of those working in our health services are concerned that the TPPA will undermine Pharmac and thus push up costs on an already squeezed health budget.
Other concerns raised by those in our health sector relate to the fact the TPPA contains Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions which allow multi-national corporations to sue Governments.
If legislation is introduced following a trade agreement such as the TPPA multi-national corporations can use these agreements to sue governments.
In Australia tobacco companies have taken legal action to challenge the plain packaging of cigarette packs for health reasons.
It is fantastic that so many dedicated health professionals are pointing out that the TPPA could undermine New Zealand’s ability to pass laws to protect our safety and health.
The TPPA is not just an agreement to enhance trade. It has faced criticism from health professionals, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, and organised labour, because of the way it is being negotiated behind closed doors.
Leaks of the text through wikileaks have so far only raised more concerns about the potential impact of this Agreement on our environmental and health laws.