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Key Must Clarify Disturbing Report From Washington

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

John Key needs to clarify whether statements he made regarding the Trans-Pacific Agreement still stand, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

US Government representatives reportedly told a recent Washington DC briefing that comments made by the New Zealand Prime Minister last year in regard to the Trans-Pacific Agreement had since been retracted.

Last year Prime Minister John Key stated that it was 'far-fetched' to suggest New Zealand could be sued through investor-state disputes that are often inserted into trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Agreement.

"John Key needs to explain why the United States trade representative Barbara Wiesel considers statements made by him are no longer to be relied upon," said Dr Norman.

"It appears John Key is telling the New Zealand public one thing while his officials stitch up a deal in secret with the United States that will impact adversely on our economic sovereignty.

"If New Zealand agrees to investor state disputes clauses in the Trans-Pacific Partnership our ability to draft anti-smoking legislation could be hindered," said Dr Norman.

"Investor states disputes clauses could also affect the New Zealand Government's ability to restrict foreign ownership, and impact on Pharmac's drug purchasing policies.

"The public has a right to know how much of New Zealand's sovereignty is being flogged off behind closed doors in Washington," said Dr Norman.

"The Government should publicly release the text of the negotiations. Currently, this text remains secret from the public of New Zealand despite being released to other governments in the negotiations."

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