11 July 2024

Members of Greenpeace Thailand gathered in front of Government House on Tuesday, to present the 400,000 signatures it has gathered in opposition to the government’s plan to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). 

The cabinet will decide this Thursday whether to begin membership negotiations.

Carrying a large green balloon, containing the 400,000 signatures from change.org and Greenpeace’s website, the group also submitted a letter, containing their demands, to the government, stating that Thailand should protect farmers’ rights, consumer rights, food stability, biodiversity, people’s access to medicines, public health services and health insurance.

Greenpeace Thailand’s Director Tara Buakamsri said Thailand will lose more than it gains by joining the CPTPP, which he said is a trade agreement that seeks to enhance the power of large industrial companies at the cost of sustainable living in rural areas, as the tariff-free access could hurt domestic agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors.

Evolving from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after the United States, led by then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2017, the CPTPP now comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. 

The signatories have combined economies representing 13.4% of global GDP. With six countries ratifying the trade agreement, it became effective in December 2018.