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Jakarta Post

TPP contravenes Constitution: Lawmaker

  • Ayomi Amindoni

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Thu, February 4, 2016   /  05:47 pm
TPP contravenes Constitution: Lawmaker (JP)

(JP)

A House of Representatives member has urged the government to reconsider its plan to join the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying it would violate the Constitution.

Achmad Hafisz Tohir, the chairman of House Commission VI, which oversees state-owned enterprises (SOEs), said the TPP would force the government to change the status and mission of SOEs.

"There is an article [in the TPP] that requires SOEs to be privatized, which we definitely reject," he said in Jakarta on Thursday, adding that it would contravene Article 33 of the Constitution obliging production entities that are vital and affect the people'€™s lives to be managed by the state.

The article underlines that the country'€™s land, waters and natural resources must be managed by the state and shall be used to the greatest benefit of the people. "It would not be possible for SOEs to complete the task if they are privatized," Achmad argued.

Therefore, he continued, the government must consider the advantages and disadvantages of joining the TPP.

Trade Minister Thomas Lembong has said that that Indonesia's participation in TPP has yet to be final. He acknowledged that joining TPP would necessitate revising many laws and regulations.

"The United States has not ratified the TPP, which it initiated, while 11 other countries are in the process of ratifying it," he stated.

UN human rights expert Alfred de Zayas has urged countries not to sign the TPP without reaffirming their human rights treaty obligations and their recent pledges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"The TPP is fundamentally flawed and should not be signed or ratified unless provision is made to guarantee the regulatory space of states,'€ he said in a statement on Wednesday, appealing for an end to free trade and investment agreements that conflict with human rights.

His appeal came a day before trade ministers gather in Auckland, New Zealand, on Feb. 4 to sign the TPP.

De Zayas argued that the TPP would only strengthen investors'€™ bargaining power and transnational corporations'€™ monopoly over public expense, while reducing labor standards, food security and health and environmental protection. (ags)(+)

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