T.P.P.A.: The final week?

Well it might finally be here. For years we have been warned of negotiations regarding the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. For years a small but growing number of people and organizations tried to . But now the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement could be as little as one week away from being formalized.

But this might also be where the real fight starts. Despite the seemingly overwhelming corporate support for it, any prolonged exposure to political and social accountability seems to petrify the executives whose private jets will be flocking to Hawaii over the next few days for what they hope will be the end stage negotiations to conclude the biggest trade agreement so far seen – and very probably the most damaging.

In New Zealand last week the Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill of New Zealand First Member of Parliament Fletcher Tabuteau was defeated by the narrowest possible margins. By a vote of 61-60 it was shut down after United Future leader Peter Dunne sold out, despite having promised his support to the second reading stage where it would have been subject to the scrutiny of a select committee.

But people are mobilizing. On 15 August, despite it possibly having been signed by then, large protests are planned nation wide to protest the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Before then via the Sum of Us activist group, a plan to raise $150,000 to take out large scale advertising in Honolulu to ensure that negotiators involved in the final stages are aware of the concerns about it.

So are political parties. After spending nearly two years sitting on the sidelines whilst New Zealand First and the Greens acted, Labour finally laid down its conditions for supporting the T.P.P.A. The move might have seemed at odds with Labours post-1984 history of supporting trade agreements even with nations whose human rights record or behaviour on the world stage the Government of the day has not condoned. However it might have also been the result of finally having a unionist for a leader.

Come what may (will?)this week, one thing is for certain: T.P.P.A.-wise it is going to be one very interesting week – albeit possibly for all the wrong reasons.

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