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24 Pacific Island Countries and Occupied Island Territories say No TPA, no TPP

2015/04/12
By

NOTPP-TPA-PI2Sign the Pacific Islands No TPP/TPA Petition on Avaaz.org:

As informed Pacific Island Peoples we request that you oppose Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, granting President Obama the authority to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. This is an agreement being negotiated with the interests of Chambers of Commerce and of over 600 of the largest US corporations with no input or consultation with the peoples throughout the Pacific. In Oceania, we believe that the TPP is a policy of enclosure that adversely impacts our ecological biodiversity, peoples and regional resources.

The TPP will further increase disparities resulting from unfair trade, mainly benefitting large transnational finance and industry groups whose assets and revenues far exceed our small island economies. We seek to join in the growing chorus of voices from labor, environmental and health advocacy, peace organizations, food and water sovereignty and other CSOs opposing the TPP.

A twelve-country strategic and economic partnership, the TPP includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, and amounts to a combined GDP of about $28 trillion dollars.

While our small island economies may be beneath the notice of industrial and commercial nations as markets or producers, we are not beneath the notice of their fishing fleets, transnational agriculture or mining companies, armed forces and their need for land, water, harbors, detention centers, military bases, airfields, missile ranges, and mineral resources.

We are representatives of 24 Pacific Island nations or island groups. As peoples in Pacific Islands Countries and Occupied Territories, we are farmers, fishermen, cultural practitioners, clergy, and environmental, trade and social justice advocates from: A’otearoa (New Zealand), American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia (Tahiti), Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Samoa, Solomon Islands, South Moluccas, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and West Papua. Our combined territory in land and sea is over 36 million square kilometers, greater than the combined land size of the TPP countries and we share a regional ocean commons well over 150 million square kilometers.

We oppose the TPP as it encloses upon our land and shared ocean commons that we depend on for our livelihood and subsistence. This enclosure will reduce our options for us to decide upon the economic futures that benefit us and will result in Pacific Peoples becoming indigenous renters and spectators in our own land.

 

Fishing Fleets: The question of enforcing regulations on over-fishing should be left to Pacific Island regulatory commissions and not to the commercial fishing fleets from TPP Countries.

Transnational Agriculture: Passage of the TPP will impact agreements made with Pacific Island Countries with GMO bans, protecting people, soil, water and ability to produce healthy, sustainable and customary food from experimental chemical and genetically engineered crops

Mining Companies: Mineral and mining companies are pushing to expand experimental seabed mining in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Pacific Island Countries. The TPP would expand extractive investment rules despite ocean acidification and climate change degrading the biodiversity of our Ocean system.

Military Cooperations: As part of the US trade and military rebalance in the Asia-Pacific, militaries have been destabilizing environments and communities by razing reefs, expanding bases, and jeopardizing the security of Pacific Peoples. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the “TPP is as important to him as a new aircraft carrier.