According to website Its Our Future the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement represents the betrayal of this nation’s sovereignty. There is little doubt that the agreement would allow overseas corporations to take legal action against NZ regulatory bodies if profits were impacted by government regulation. More disturbingly the courts involved would not be the High Court of New Zealand or any other credible judicial body. Rather it would be an overseas trade tribunal influenced by commercial legal representatives. Its our Future goes on to say that:
- “Big overseas companies will be able to sue the New Zealand government for millions in damages in secretive offshore tribunals, claiming that new laws and regulations (for example, a ban on fracking, smoking control laws, or a cap on electricity prices) have seriously undermined the value of their investments.
- Medicines will become more expensive as big pharmaceutical companies gain more influence over PHARMAC, and restrictions are placed on generic medicines.
- Copyright laws will be toughened and more harshly enforced, restricting internet freedom and access to information, costing libraries, schools, and businesses, and stifling innovation.
- Policy decisions like the privatisation of state assets would be effectively locked in, and public interest policies such as measures to discourage smoking would be subject to strong legal challenges. Defending these laws can be extremely costly, and waste state resources; and
- Foreign banks, insurance companies and money traders will gain more powers to challenge laws designed to prevent another financial crisis; and overseas property dealers could contest moves to burst the property bubble, such as a capital gains tax.”
In cases where the government is effectively trying to bind future elected governments the people should have a say. If we can organise a national referendum on a flag debate then surely we can have a referendum on this important matter of national sovereignty?