TPPA – this fight is not over

TPPA0.jpgBy Cory Anderson and Josh O’Sullivan

 

More than 20,000 demonstrators brought Auckland’s CBD to a standstill on Thursday, protesting the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).  Braving threats of a heavy-handed response from police, activists blockaded the signing venue at the SkyCity casino, shutting down intersections and impeding traffic in the surrounding area. As their numbers swelled through the morning, roaming protests fanned out through the city occupying key access points such as motorway on- and off- ramps, bringing traffic to a standstill and temporarily closing a section of the Harbour Bridge.  Meanwhile, thousands gathered around Aotea Square for the largest demonstration against the TPPA yet, and one of the largest in the last 30 years. People came to express their anger from all walks of life, Nurses, doctors, teachers, students, construction workers, lawyers, librarians and university lecturers were all amongst the crowd that marched down Queen Street, and at the front a Hikoi was led by a large Kapa Haka group. [Read more…]

Nationalist poison no medicine against the TPPA

TPPA 1by Dougal McNeill

There are plenty of good reasons to oppose the TPPA. It’s part of U.S. imperialism’s strategy against China in the Asia-Pacific, working in the economic sphere as the ‘tilt to Asia’ does in the military. It gives greater powers to capitalists, and will be used to water down labour rights and environmental protections. It threatens public health provisions.

These threats are international, and face workers in all the countries that are set to sign up. So our opposition needs to be international, and internationalist. Pala Molisa’s excellent speech at the end of today’s rally in Wellington stressed just this kind of connection.

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TPP – Agreement for the Rich

tppa walk away

By Joshua O’Sullivan

As an International Trade agreement very little within the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) is actually new. The TPPA has been an ongoing process since the early 1980s that has grown in scope and power to now attempt to cover 40% of the world’s GDP. It’s important to place it in its context of imperialism to understand why the TPPA is being pushed through now by the US. The US are spooked by China’s economic rise to dominance and want to maintain control in the Asia Pacific region economically but also through their latent strength of the military.

The TPPA taps into a long history of international trade and the methods by which it is secured. International ‘agreement’ is a euphemism for control; capitalists forcing their political ideology through business arrangements like the TPPA. International agreements are never agreed to or discussed on an equal playing field, one country is always more developed, or more powerful. The military is an important part of that equation.

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TPPA: An Agreement for the Ruling Class

By Cory Anderson

Even in scare quotes,  the deal gets Grosser.

Even in scare quotes, the deal gets Grosser.

Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) was reached early on Tuesday morning.  The final signing could occur in 90 days’ time, with the text likely to be made publically available for the first time during the that period.  John Key and Tim Groser claim that deal will not impact Pharmac’s ability to subsidise the cost of medicines in New Zealand but it is certain that the cost of supply medicines to New Zealand will increase, and with the continued pressure on government departments to cut costs such promises should be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism.   The deal also places restrictions on state ownership and the operations of State-Owned Enterprises, effectively bedding in the privatisation regime introduced by Labour and National governments in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. [Read more…]