Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact signed amid New Zealand protests

One of the biggest and most controversial trade deals in history was signed on Thursday by ministers from the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas. Thousands of protesters hit the streets to denounce it.


The deal - which will cut tariffs, improve access to markets and sets common ground on labour and environmental standards and intellectual property protections - was finally reached in October after five years of negotiations.

It includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam.

It was pushed by Washington as well as Trans-Atlantic Partnership on Trade and Investments for EU.


One of protesters in Oakland told to media that "It's kind of a Cold War by proxy of trade and investment agreements... And that's a real worry because not only do the corporations who have special insights and input to this agreement get to be centre stage but there is no balance of interests."

Former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz said it "may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades... It gives foreign investors the right to sue governments in private international tribunals when they believe government regulations contravene the TPP's terms."