Labour has been walking a tightrope on the TPP. Labour supports free trade, but opposes aspects of the TPP that limit our sovereignty. At some point the party was going to have to come down on one side or another, and it seems that Andrew Little has now done so. The news that the TPP was likely to cost 5 to 6,000 jobs in NZ seems to have been the last straw. On One News last night (partial transcript from video):
Labour finally confirms it’s opposed to controversial TPPA
[Little] “I don’t support it, we don’t support it”
[Little] “Very difficult as it is for us as a party that for 80 years has supported for, championed and advanced the cause of free trade, we see an agreement that cuts right across the rights of New Zealand citizens…”
[Vance] “Plus Andrew Little points to US university analysis which predicts the deal will lead to between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs lost in New Zealand by 2025. The report also estimates GDP growth of less than 0.8% again by 2025.
Vance has occasionally got things wrong in early reporting, but I hope she’s right on this occasion and I hope to see this confirmed by Labour soon. Then brace yourself for the attack machine. Here’s Dita DeBoni:
The smear campaign against people who oppose the TPPA has almost stifled proper debate
The smear campaign against people who oppose the TPPA – or see much to question in it – has almost completely stifled proper debate about this game-changing deal.
Doubters have been called ‘children’, hippies, dirty lefties, communists, ‘anti-trade’, and much worse. Even if they are respected economists, doctors, business leaders or even revered rugby players, they are in for a drubbing for questioning the TPPA.
The latest attack lines suggest that because the sky hasn’t immediately fallen in, the TPPA must be A OK. This, despite well-founded fears of future unintended consequences. …
More mud will fly, but Labour’s case is sound. The TPP limits our sovereignty, it will cost jobs, and the economic gains are not significant enough to justify it.