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The old mantra from Tim Groser on TPPA

The Editor, The Dominion Post, Wellington

20 August, 2015

Dear Editor:

Trade Minister Tim Groser brings out the old mantra about trade deal opponents when talking about the TPPA. But he knows the TPPA is not really a trade deal, rather a global governance ‘deal’, the most startling provision allowing corporations (not countries, really) to sue in international kangaroo courts for potential profit losses (yes, potential, not actual) resulting from democratic decisions of parliament (such as smoking regulations).

What he and opponents of the TPPA are both afraid to talk about, however, is the history of so-called “free trade” deals. The most potent influence of them generally has been a ‘race to the bottom’ where skilled, well payed jobs, for example in manufacturing, have been outsourced to lower wage countries. It’s never been primarily about ‘efficiency’, it’s been part of the global drive toward increasing the difference between the rich and poor. To the extent that the New Zealand electorate has come to accept this situation is a worry for New Zealand’s employment future, and also explains why Groser can get away with this insult to the New Zealand people and its economy. This kind of cringe from the electorate is not a good look.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

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