Leader Andrew Little said his party supported free trade but would not back the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) unless the five “non-negotiable bottom lines” were met.
* Drug buying agency Pharmac must be protected.
* Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest.
* New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreigner buyers.
* The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld.
* Meaningful gains are made for farmers in tariff reductions and market access.
These are not unreasonable bottom lines. It is good to see Labour have not abandoned their previous support for free trade.
The issue may be that some of them can not be defined with 100% certainity – you can never know the outcome of a lawsuit. But I note the following:
Labour believes the conditions reflect protections in the 2008 free trade agreement it negotiated with China.
That FTA has investor state dispute settlement provisions, so if the TPP has the same, then that should not be a reason for Labour to oppose it.
I’d add a sixth condition on – that NZ does not have to make changes to out intellectual property laws in a way which would harm the Internet in NZ.