Process Tracing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Canada and New Zealand: Understanding the Inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in Trade Negotiations
Walter, Emily M.
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In attempts to achieve ‘reconciliation’ in a globalized world, several governments are seeking to advance the goal of ‘progressive trade’ (NZMFAT, 2020c; Government of Canada, 2018a). Yet it is uncertain whether current free trade agreements (FTAs) uphold the principles of reconciliation, and whether they are inclusive of Indigenous interests (UN General Assembly, 2015; Waitangi Tribunal, 2016). There is little knowledge regarding how Indigenous peoples participate in global trade negotiations, which creates a research gap (Kawharu, 2016; Schwartz, 2017; Dalhousie Law Professor, personal communication, March 3, 2020). To address this gap, this thesis uses process tracing through a document analysis to understand how Indigenous peoples in Canada and Māori in New Zealand participated in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. An analysis of the legal obligations these countries have to domestic stakeholders in international treaty-making provides insight to the often exclusive decision-making process at the international level. Weak and minimal legal obligations for countries such as Canada and New Zealand to include stakeholders, and especially Indigenous peoples in international treaty-making leads them to achieve the ‘bare minimum’ of domestic inclusion in order to ease the complexity of two-level games (Putnam, 1988; Kindred et al., 2014; Waitangi Tribunal, 2016; Sanderson & Willms, 2019). While Indigenous peoples are often not specifically targeted in these exclusive processes, the most marginalized groups in society are often heard the least (“Native Affairs”, 2015; Palmater, 2016; Amnesty International, 2020). There are opportunities for more inclusive decision-making to occur, especially in Canada, where governments could look to New Zealand as a first step towards more meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples (Cywink, 2017). For Canada and New Zealand to work towards rebuilding relations with Indigenous peoples, more inclusive treaty-making processes at both the domestic and international levels are needed.
Walter, E.M. (2020). Process tracing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Canada and New Zealand: Understanding the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in trade negotiations. College of Sustainability Honours Theses.