The TPPA is not in the best interest of the average person. It isn’t in the best interest of the environment, intellectual property, the labour force, health care, local economies, indigenous people groups and local businesses. It isn’t just any run of the mill free trade agreement; it is THE international free trade agreement that will change everything. Indeed, the participating governments are essentially handing over the democratic sovereignty of their people to big multinational corporations. There are twelve nation states negotiating the TPPA: New Zealand, Australia, the U.S, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, and Brunei.
New Zealand politician and activist Hone Harawira has shown his opposition to the TPPA:
“NZ governments fall over themselves to sign free trade agreements where foreign multi-billion dollar corporates come first and indigenous peoples and the Treaty of Waitangi come last. We all remember the savage impact of trade liberalization on workers, particularly Maori in manufacturing jobs; now a TPPA threatens open season on assets, plunder of intellectual and cultural heritage, and health care only the rich can afford. Is this the Aotearoa we want?”(1)
If what we do know about the TPPA is capitalist shrewdness at its best, what does that say about the information we don’t know about? Undeniably, if the TPPA is in the best interests of New Zealand citizens (as well as the citizens of the other member countries) than why are the details of the agreement cloaked in murky transparency? If the TPPA is implemented, it will bring in the age of anthro-commodification; succinctly countries will literally become commodities of capital, enslaved in the monopoly of the rich 1% of the world. If ever future governments try to make a stand for the greater good, than multinationals will essentially own the rights to sue governments for economic damage; in the end bankruptcy might be a dire reality facing all the countries selling their souls. Do I dare say that if ever a global governance body were to arise in the next 50 years, maybe the people calling the shots won’t be democratically elected leaders but CEO’s of the major multinationals?
There is only one vision of the future post-TPPA, it is an even more unequal world than today: in which the socio-economic gap is more like a massive chasm; climate change/global warming shoots up another 3°c; the average person can’t afford prescription drugs let alone visits to the doctors; local businesses are bought out on a grand scale; animal endangerment and extinction become the norm; indigenous rights will be wiped from history; and intellectual and cultural property will be stripped of all subjective value and ownership. The twelve negotiating nation states are selling something they don’t own, let alone care about – the democracy and rights of their citizens.
Welcome to the world of capital, where money talks and multinationals own the world. Hopefully this is just a bad dream…