Government Must Hit Re-Set at Chile Trade Meeting

Press Release – Closing The Gap

The post-TPPA trade meeting in Chile later this month is a chance for the government to show it has listened to its own people, who want trade deals to put their well-being first, not that of multinationals, Closing the Gap spokesman Peter Malcom said today. …Monday 13th March 2017

Government Must Hit Re-Set at Chile Trade Meeting

The post-TPPA trade meeting in Chile later this month is a chance for the government to show it has listened to its own people, who want trade deals to put their well-being first, not that of multinationals, Closing the Gap spokesman Peter Malcom said today.

The TPPA died because of grassroots pressure from people who understand these deals serve the powerful and wealthy, not ordinary workers.

“The National Government, meanwhile, has not been listening, and seems committed to reviving a deal that will likely do little more than worsen inequality in New Zealand,” Mr. Malcolm said.

Research made clear any gains from the now-dead TPPA would have been small — at best a 0.9% rise in GDP by 2030 — and outweighed by higher costs elsewhere, including pharmaceuticals, intellectual property and having to defend our sovereignty in the face of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) cases.

Mr. Malcolm said now was the perfect time for the Government to rethink its approach, and put a priority on the well-being of New Zealanders.

“Neoliberal economics of the kind baked into these agreements has failed, and governments that don’t take heed are failing along with them. In an election year, the National government needs to pay attention and be part of building a better, fairer trading system,” he said.

We don’t deny how crucial trade is to New Zealand, Mr. Malcom said, but the benefits are not fairly distributed, enriching some traders while wages and conditions remain low.

If the Government doesn’t change direction in Chile, we may change the Government in September.
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