Kapiti And The Trans Pacific Partnership

 Everyone knows that the US is driving the TPP. The demands made on behalf of US Corporations have dominated negotiations. Jane Kelsey, Law professor, Auckland University

 Getting the Council involved

By Roger Childs

TPP A number of councils around the country have adopted a 12 point statement designed to protect New Zealand from undesirable changes coming out of the secret TPP trade talks. The Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) is not one of them.

Local activists, lead by retired GP Viola Palmer, want KCDC to be involved in what is a crucial development in New Zealand’s history. She has called a meeting, at which Greg Rzeniowiecki will speak on getting our council and others to take on board policies which would make the TPPA acceptable.

 ~ Wednesday 10 December 2014

 ~ 7.00pm at the Kapiti Community Centre.

Greg is from Motueka and is active in a group called The Renewables which advocates finding alternatives to fossil fuels. He has been working full-time (unpaid) on lobbying councils to accept the 12 point blueprint.

Beware the corporation!

corporationsThe TPP is part of trade negotiations going on around the world led by the Americans and the European Union. However, key drivers of the process are the ubiquitous corporations.

At the TTP/TFTA negotiations the US delegations have had more than 600 corporate advisers. European negotiators also have business representatives advising them. Counterpunch estimates that these advisers represent about 75,000 corporations and subsidiaries.

What could happen, according to Jane Kelsey,  is that: The US… claims the right to decide what a country’s obligations are under a trade and investment agreement. This could mean rewriting a country’s legislation in the interests of overseas corporations! So New Zealand needs to be extremely careful on what it signs up to.

There is a great danger, that without government regulations and public protection, corporations would be able to

  • evade food safety regulations
  • avoid paying for carbon emissions
  • sue governments for lost earnings because of labour laws and environmental protection
  • use extrajudicial tribunals to get compensation from countries because of their health, public safety and financial policies.

All this could happen in the name of so-called freer trade.

Raising awareness at grass roots level

Tonight’s meeting is aimed at raising awareness of the issues involved and putting pressure on KCDC to support the 12 point statement. Get along if you can.

KIN will have a follow up article on the meeting later in the week.