For decades Oxfam has campaigned for trade rules and intellectual property standards that give poor countries a fair deal, such as protecting their right to access cheap medicines for public health. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a trade treaty being negotiated in secrecy between the United States, New Zealand, and nine other countries on the Asia-Pacific rim, will have serious long term implications for Pacific countries and could have damaging consequences for development in the region.
Yet the TPPA text will remain secret until after the Agreement is signed – It’s not right.
Oxfam supporters and others demanded the New Zealand Government release the secret TPPA text before it’s signed. In December 2013, 26,000 signatures were handed in, calling for release of the draft text.
Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, said, "These are crucial issues, not only for New Zealand but also for developing countries since this agreement is likely to set the framework for future agreements.
“Priority needs to be given to issues including access to affordable medicines, the rights of government to regulate in the public interest and respect for the legal system and democratic institutions. It is unacceptable that these issues would be subject to negotiations undertaken in secrecy.”
See the press conference with members from the Mana, Māori, Labour, Green, and NZ First Party here.
Text of petition
To the Rt. Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand
Your Government has said it wants to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by the end of this year.
The TPPA has the potential to impact negatively on many aspects of New Zealanders’ lives. According to statements from your Government, the negotiations are close to complete.
Yet the text remains secret. You have said it will remain secret until after the Agreement has been signed.
As New Zealanders, we will not get to see what your Government is signing us up to until it is too late to change. Nor will Parliament.
Your Government has claimed Parliament will have the final say. But the power to sign and ratify this agreement sits with you as the Executive.
That is not democracy and it's not right.
We demand that you release the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, for public and parliamentary examination and debate — before it is signed.
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