Open Letter to Rt Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade

Dear Minister,
The Alliance Party urges the government not to sign New Zealand up to the Trans-Pacific Agreement. We are convinced this agreement is a major threat to democracy and the sovereignty of all countries involved. It will allow large multinational companies to run roughshod over elected governments and operate contrary to the wishes of the people of the country. We see evidence that this has already begun in New Zealand in the threats of legal action by the big tobacco companies to prevent plain packaging for cigarettes.

We feel the government is being cynically manipulated by big and powerful companies and is incredibly naive in thinking there will be any lasting tangible benefits for New Zealanders. The Trans-Pacific Agreement is simply about giving big business unfettered access to the countries that are signatories. It will allow companies to come in and make as much money as possible without any regard for the wellbeing of the people who live there.

The Trans-Pacific Agreement will be binding for the country. We cannot get out of it by electing a new government.

The Alliance does not believe any democratic government has a mandate to make decisions that cannot be rescinded later by the people, if the majority wishes to do so. Especially if negotiations take place in secret, as is the case with the TPP, so there is no opportunity for public input, let alone informed debate.

Yours sincerely
Kay Murray (co leader Alliance Party)