Five reasons why workers should oppose the TPPA

Five reasons why workers should oppose the TPPA

There will be large protests this Thursday against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which is due to be signed at Skycity.  The government is not allowing citizens to have a vote on this major change to our economy - referenda are only for flags. 

Why unions oppose the TPPA. 

1.       It strengthens corporate power

  • By giving foreign corporations in the TPPA the power to sue the New Zealand government in unaccountable offshore tribunals of corporate lawyers when their profits are threatened.
  • By giving foreign corporations the right to be consulted over changes New Zealand governments want to make.
  • By encouraging offshoring of production and jobs.


2.       It weakens public services

  • By increasing commercialisation of services that should be provided by the government and making privatisation harder to reverse
  • By preventing publicly owned entities like SOEs and public broadcasting from acting in the public interest if they operate internationally, and from favouring local suppliers
  • By increasing the pressure on Pharmac from the big pharmaceutical companies and raising medicine prices
  • By undermining public health measures
  • By giving corporates greater say over government decisions

3.       It makes it harder to support the development of high-value, high-wage industries 

  • By making it harder to use government procurement and SOEs to support local suppliers and improve working conditions
  • By preventing governments from favouring local service suppliers
  • By increasing exporters’ dependence on supply chains that favour large multinationals

4.       It brings tiny economic benefits but is likely to increase inequality

  • It is as if your employer came to you and said “I’ll give you a 0.9 percent pay rise in 15 years time on condition I have a lot more control over your life from now on.”
  • It could reduce the share of the nation’s income that workers receive, so all the benefits (and more) go to investors

5.       It greatly reduces sovereignty: the ability of future elected governments to make changes in the interests of New Zealand working people