Bantah TPPA elated by international vote
PETALING JAYA: Bantah TPPA today claimed a boost for its struggle with a recent international vote against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.
In a brief media statement, the pressure group noted that 90% of the International Trade Union Confederation’s (ITUC) members voted for the scrapping of TPPA at its recent congress in Berlin.
The statement also quoted Public Service International (PSI) General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli as saying that agreements such as the TPPA would remove the right of countries to enact policies, laws and regulations in their people’s interests.
PSI works closely with ITUC.
“These so-called free trade deals will not deliver sustainable jobs or development,” Pavanelli said.
“People need to understand that these treaties are really about guaranteeing multinational corporations’ profits and cementing investors’ rights.”
Pavanelli’s stand is supported by World Health Organisation (WHO) General Secretary Margaret Chan.
“Something is fundamentally wrong in this world when a corporation can challenge government policies introduced to protect the public from a product that kills,” Chan said in reference to the possibility of tobacco companies invoking tribunals for investor state dispute settlements under TPPA.
Bantah TPPA said its sentiments were similar to those expressed by ITUC, PSI and WHO.
“We want a free and fair trade agreement, and there is nothing free or fair if the TPPA continues in the way it is moving forward,” the statement said.
The TPPA is a free trade agreement involving 11 countries namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.
Last week Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia was looking forward to the completion of the TPPA possibly by year-end on terms acceptable to the country.
However, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said if the year-end date cannot be met, Malaysia would continue with the negotiations as the deadline was not important but the contents of the TPP agreement.
Various groups, including Bantah TPPA and the opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat, have opposed TPPA as they feel Malaysia would lose her sovereignty if she signs the trade deal.