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Stop the Secrecy

The New Zealand Herald: Trade deal hands US power to rewrite NZ laws

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 13:59 -- Eva Prkachin

Do you think the U.S. should have the power to sign off on New Zealand laws?

Article by Jane Kelsey for The New Zealand Herald

"Certification" seems a benign enough word. But it hides an extraordinary power that the United States is expected to assert if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is concluded.

The US basically claims the right to decide what a country's obligations are under a trade and investment agreement. It then refuses to bring the agreement into force in relation to the other country until that government has changed its laws, regulations and administrative processes to fit the US expectation of what is needed to comply. This certification process can run on for years.

Communications from the US Congress and the US Trade Representative (USTR) suggest their prime targets for New Zealand would be our copyright and patent laws, the foreign investment vetting regime, the procedures by which Pharmac operates, and Fonterra's "anti-competitive monopoly".

- Read more at The New Zealand Herald