New Zealand Resists Pressure to Release TPP Text

11 February 2014

New Zealand’s government on Feb. 11 blocked a Labour Party move in Parliament to force the release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement before it is approved by the Cabinet.

Labour leader David Cunliffe was quoted as saying he was “disappointed, but not surprised,” according to a New Zealand media report.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said he would not negotiate the agreement “through the media.”

NZ First leader Winston Peters said Key was trying to keep the public in ignorance over the TPP. “The prime minister is misleading when he says the public will have the chance to have their say on the content of the TPP during the select committee process,” he said.

Separately, legislators from seven of the 12 TPP countries issued an open letter demanding that the text of the proposed agreement be released before it’s signed.

The letter states:

“We, the undersigned legislators from countries involved in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, call on the parties to the negotiation to publish the draft text of the agreement before any final agreement is signed with sufficient time to enable effective legislative scrutiny and public debate.”

The negotiations are scheduled to resume in Singapore Feb. 22-25. The countries have involved have agreed to conduct the negotiations confidentially, although several key portions have leaked. (See previous Freedominfo.org report.)

 

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Filed under: IFTI Watch

ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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