The TPPA: Bad for public services, bad for New Zealand

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement could put New Zealand’s public services at risk, and the PSA’s urging the government not to sign it.

Leaders from the 12 Pacific Rim nations which are parties to the agreement will gather in Auckland tomorrow (4 February) for the formal signing of the trade agreement.

“The TPPA could severely hamper the government’s ability to use public services to address New Zealand’s social and economic problems,” PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

“For example, would we have been able to establish our world-leading accident compensation scheme if we had been signed up to the TPPA in the 1970s?

 “We believe the TPPA will create greater pressure for privatisation, and it would stop our government from putting Kiwi businesses first in line for contracts.

“Opening public service contracts up to international bidders will also make it harder to insert conditions requiring good employment practices and the Living Wage.”

The government has already acknowledged the TPPA will require longer patents for medicines – and higher costs for patients.

“The PSA supports fair trade agreements that are in New Zealand’s national interests, that protect worker and union rights and exclude public services,” Mr Barclay says.

“But we can’t be assured that any of those conditions are met by the TPPA. 

“There’s no proof this agreement will result in a single extra dollar going into workers’ back pockets, and it’ll benefit overseas companies at Kiwis’ expense.

“The government has acted arrogantly by negotiating in secret, and the PSA now calls on the Prime Minister to do the right thing – and refuse to sign.”