by Murray Horton
In September 2008 the Government took the country by surprise by announcing it was opening negotiations for a full blown Free Trade Agreement with the US. The US has been brought into negotiations to extend a two year old trade and investment agreement, the grandly named Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership – often known as the P4. An earlier proposal to open negotiations with the other current signatories Singapore, Chile and Brunei to extend the P4 into investment and financial services, and to invite the US to join, has become the means to open negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with the US.
Both Labour and National have regularly proclaimed that a Free Trade Agreement with the US is the Holy Grail of NZ’s cult-like obsession with “free” trade (turning a blind eye to the harmful effects wrought on Australia by its Agreement with the US). The Free Trade Agreement signed with China in 2008 is seen as simply the appetiser before the main course.
There are numerous dangers from such an agreement. Bill Rosenberg explains just what effects it could have in his article Who wins if we get a free trade deal with the US?
One of the really big battles of the 1990s was that to defeat the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), which would have imposed a global open slather for transnational corporations and Big Business upon the peoples of the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including NZ. That was essentially a global robbers’ charter for foreign investors.
It was too outrageous and too ambitious and, fortunately, it was defeated. But the transnational corporations (TNCs) and their client governments have assiduously set out to achieve in bilateral and regional agreements what they failed to gain by one king hit.
This deal must be stopped, at all costs.
- Bill Rosenberg explains just what effects it could have in his article on the P4 and his article on Who wins if we get a free trade deal with the US? (Both these are also linked above)
- The problems of free trade, investment and globalisation – a range of articles, from CAFCA
- The Statement of Sovereignty Petition (PDF download)
- The Statement of Sovereignty Flyer (PDF download)
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