Do YOU support a Free Trade Agreement with the US?

Many New Zealanders believe that a New Zealand-US free trade agreement would put all of Aotearoa up for sale to US corporations by “removing barriers” to US corporate control and by allowing US corporations to sue the New Zealand government for threatening their profits.
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Our World Is Not For Sale | Auckland, Friday 25 July 2008

Do YOU support a Free Trade Agreement with the US?

Press Release - For Immediate Release

NZ is not for sale

Do YOU support a Free Trade Agreement with the United States?

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is arriving in Auckland this Friday night and will be having meetings in Auckland on Saturday with Winston Peters, Helen Clark and John Key among others. She will also be meeting with the US-NZ Council who will be trying to push for a free trade deal between New Zealand the United States.

A free trade agreement will not be in either country’s best interest and we must continue to oppose the neoliberal free trade agenda.

A free trade agreement would allow US corporations to sue the New Zealand government for threatening the profits of U.S. companies effected by the agreement. Many New Zealanders believe that it puts all of Aotearoa up for sale to US corporations. Their free trade agreement will “remove barriers” to US corporate control. Changes could include:

- Privatisation of New Zealand’s water, schools and hospitals.

- Removal of environmental, water quality and public health protections to make way for massive increases in Dairy production to feed the U.S. market

- Banning labelling of genetically engineered food.

- End to government subsidies of medicines in New Zealand

A protest march to her state welcoming at Government House will be held to tell her that she is NOT welcome here. This will be followed by a protest from 3.15pm outside the Langham Hotel in Symonds Street where she is scheduled to meet National Party Leader John Key. There is also a $5000 reward offered by the Auckland University Students Association for any student who places Condoleezza Rice under a Citizen’s Arrest.

Saturday 26th July
1:30pm at Auckland Domain cnr Carlton Gore and Parks Roads
3:15pm outside the Langham Hotel on Symonds Streeet
Bring noise makers, placards and banners

On the 11th of September 2007 - The U.S. and New Zealand delegations made up of U.S. and NZ corporate and business interests attempted to hold a preliminary meeting in Auckland to discuss the future of such a free trade agreement.

The forum organisers had originally planned to host the event at the Auckland war memorial museum. However, much evidence suggests that in light of information gathered via surveillance of New Zealanders opposed to the Trade agreement in the run up to the event the organisers were forced to employ between 60 and a hundred of police officers to barricade themselves into the hotel they were staying at and hold the event there instead. Unlike the millionaires and corporate CEOs, the New Zealand public was largely kept in the dark about the forums existence.

Despite this, several hundred turned up and peacefully protested outside the event. The social reprecussions of such an agreement for New Zealanders have been completely ignored with most media focusing on New Zealand delegates sidestepping of the serious issues instead making congratulatory comments about how New Zealand’s students will now be able to get longer working holiday visas to the U.S.

The OUR WORLD IS NOT FOR SALE campaign was formed around building the protests at the September 2007 US-NZ Partnership Forum, the global justice campaign aims to build public support and organisation against the signing of any form of free trade agreement between the United States and New Zealand.

source: Scoop

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