Defence of Trans Pacific Partnership a joke

For years now the Government of Prime Minister John Key has been trying to defend the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The massive so called Free Trade Agreement that he and his colleagues argue will bring major benefits to the New Zealand economy and consumers, is a 12 nation deal that when complete will encompass the worlds two biggest economies and a host of other G-20 nations.

The longer that the Government tries to defend the Trans Pacific Pàrtnership, the sillier it looks. It is quite plain that the public are losing confidence in the Governments assurances that the T.P.P. is in New Zealand’s interests. Leaked information suggests that none of the gains often parroted by Government ministers are actually going to occur and that costs for medication will increase. There is also substantial concern about the Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses that are allegedly in the text.

The Minister of Trade, who has been privy to the details all along insists that the preferred method of negotiation is to  keep the details secret until the draft has been agreed upon by the nations involved. Then, Mr Groser says, it would be open for discussion. But recently it has become clear that none of this is true. It has become clear that New Zealanders and Parliament will only be able to see the text, not after it has been agreed to, but after it has been signed off.

Thus it is all the more incredible that Mr Groser believes New Zealanders are misinformed. Mr Groser and his National Party colleagues however refuse to attend the public meetings that are being organized to air concerns. I understand that in Christchurch on 10 August 2015 a public meeting with all political parties in Parliament invited to attend was organized to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Every Opposition party turned up. Not one Minister of the Crown or National caucus Member of Parliament showed up. Nor did A.C.T. or United Future, both of whom believe it is somehow a good deal for New Zealand. Quite how we are supposed to be informed when those in the know do not want to tell us is beyond me.

And it was dear old John Key who famously said that if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear. So, Mr Prime Minister, may I ask what you and Mr Groser are hiding?

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