Revised TPPA must come back to Parliament

Any new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) without the United States (US) must be brought back to Parliament for scrutiny and examination, whether Bill English thinks it’s necessary or not, the Green Party said today.

The Prime Minister has been reported saying a revised TPPA would “not necessarily” need to go back to Parliament, while leaked Crown Law advice says it would.

“The TPPA without the US is potentially a very different beast. It would be dishonest to pretend that Parliament’s previous deliberations over the TPPA are a rubber stamp of approval for a new TPPA-style deal without the US,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Barry Coates.

“New Zealanders have been very clear that they want to see a more democratic, transparent process before their government signs up to trade deals.

“This is a case of the Government’s left hand not talking to its right hand, with Crown Law saying a changed TPPA would have to come back to Parliament and tangata whenua would need to be consulted, while the Prime Minister says it might not.

“The so-called TPP11, if it goes ahead, will be a new agreement and needs a new, independent National Interest Analysis and new scrutiny of the costs and benefits, so people can make up their own minds about whether it’s better or worse than the original TPPA.

“Some TPPA countries, like Canada, are saying that any new agreement would need to be significantly rewritten.

“Parliament needs a formal opportunity to consider that the very limited economic benefits of the original TPPA with the US will be even smaller now, but all the bad things the US insisted on like higher prices for medicines, changes to copyright law, and giving corporations the right to sue our government will remain in the agreement.

“The Green Party considers the TPPA was not in New Zealand’s best interests before the US pulled out, and will be even less so in its proposed amended form,” Mr Coates said.

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