TPP Protests

It was a day of protests against the TPP in cities and towns throughout New Zealand today. It is hard to know exactly how many people joined the protest marches. Radio New Zealand thought the number of people marching in Auckland was 2,500, the New Zealand Herald said 5,000 while the Stuff website gave the number as 10,000. However, there were obviously very many protesters in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and smaller towns from Kaitaia in the north to Invercargill in the south.

Although TPP talks have finished at the moment because trade ministers could not reach an agreement, our minister, Tim Groser, hopes that talks will resume later in the year. He is still hopeful of an agreement between the 12 countries. There seem to be two major disagreements. One concerns dairy products – New Zealand wants to sell our dairy products to these countries but Canada wants to protect its own dairy industry. The other disagreement is between Japan and USA over car imports. There is also a concern that the talks have been secret.

Many of the protesters today are worried that a TPP agreement would mean that big international companies would have rights here and our government would not be able to protect our own interests.

New Zealanders are not the only people unhappy about the TPP. People in other countries like USA, Japan and Mexico have also held protest marches.

Listen to August 2nd to hear more about the TPP talks.

Vocabulary

• resume – start again

Collocations (a group of words which go together): hold a protest, reach an agreement, not the only people

Question

What kind of rights might international companies want?






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