A new poll shows two thirds of New Zealanders are wary of a Trans Pacific Partnership that has rules allowing corporations to sue governments.
A telephone survey conducted by Consumer Link asked respondents whether they would support New Zealand signing trade and investment treaties that would allow the government to be sued by foreign investors in private offshore tribunals.
64% of respondents said New Zealand should reject treaties with these clauses, and just 13% said we should sign them. 24% were unsure.
Investor state dispute settlement mechanisms are common in trade agreements promoted by the US, such as the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.
Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union, said the poll demonstrated that New Zealand should follow Australia’s lead in rejecting the inclusion of these mechanisms in a TPP.
"The great myth promulgated by the branding of the TPP is that it is primarily about trade. The pervasive rules regarding investment are the ones that are most concerning," Robert Reid said.
"Governments must be free to enact laws that meet the needs of their country, without the threat hanging over them of being sued in unaccountable, offshore tribunals."
"Two years ago, John Key described the inclusion of investor-state enforcement powers in a TPP as "far-fetched" and said he expected New Zealand would support Australia’s position in rejecting such a mechanism."
"The public clearly support this stance. John Key needs to explain which side he’s on," Robert Reid said.
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