The Government wants to trim the process for hearing TPP submissions to get the controversial legislation off the agenda for election year in a shocking case of political expediency, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark says.
“The Government had decided to cut back the national interests assessment process by three weeks.
“National is clearly uncomfortable with scrutiny of its flimsy National Interest Analysis. Now they want to get the issue off the agenda before election year.
“At every turn, they have failed to convince New Zealanders that the deal stacks up. Now they are reduced to scaremongering about exclusion from future trade deals as the only reason to support the legislation. They are also dead-set on pushing through concessions in our copyright law when it is not even clear the USA Congress will support the agreement.
“Labour continues to support free trade, but we cannot support a deal that undermines sovereignty and commits us to retain economic distortions in our housing market indefinitely. Australia, Singapore, Vietnam and others sought – and received – rights in the TPPA that New Zealand did not even seek. This Government has failed New Zealanders.
“The Government released 6000 pages then restricted feedback timeframes. Nonetheless concerned citizens have raised serious issues through the submission process. Rushing the deal back to Parliament without time for panel members to question officials fully and gain considered responses is an affront to democracy.
“They are trying to sweep it under the carpet,” says David Clark.