Stop Drink Network coordinator Kamron Chudecha, a representative for a host of citizen networks, handed a letter addressed to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai, who is also a chairman of the International Economic Policy Committee.
Don is reportedly pushing for Thailand to join the CPTPP and will present this case at a Cabinet meeting next week.
Department of International Economic Affairs deputy director Rujikorn Saengchantr received the letter on behalf of Don.
Kamron claimed Don ignored objections from government agencies, the academic sector, the Thailand Consumers Council and civil society, and also ignored a suggestion by the extraordinary committee that the government must listen and take into account citizens’ opinions.
Kamron voiced concern that joining the CPTPP might affect the country’s public health policy.
He said he was also worried that it would widely affect Thai society, for instance making alcoholic beverages cheaper while medicines would become more expensive and there would be a monopoly on seeds.
Kamron also claimed that the minister previously made a “significant mistake” with the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement in 2008, as that country could freely transport recyclable and non-recyclable industrial chemical waste to Thailand.
Kamron claimed the agreement had caused Thailand to almost become one of the world’s litter bins.
The ministry however denied at first that the agreement was related to the transport of hazardous wastes.
Kamron added that Japan had also signed an agreement with the Philippines and Malaysia but those nations did not have to receive any waste like Thailand has had to.
He said the ministry should take past problems into account as a lesson for not joining the CPTPP.
Published : October 21, 2021
By : THE NATION