This Tuesday the 20th, the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, made his debut before the United Nations Organization (UN) in New York, on a trip marked by a series of meetings with important political figures in the international arena, but which It has been clouded by various declarations related especially to the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Association (TPP11 or CPTPP) that has ended up entangling the ruling party in a debate that has crossed borders.
Better known as TPP11, this treaty has been in the country’s Congress for around five years in a process of difficult processing; nevertheless, In April 2019, it took a significant step when it was approved in the Lower House and then in the Senate Constitution Commission.
However, from there it has been uphill to give him the green light to finally get his vote in the Chamber. But given that the political forces have changed, it is estimated that if it is put on the table this time it could be approved.
Senator Ricardo Lagos Weber pointed out that the government’s work with the side letters “means that it is promoting the TPP.”
The debate that reached New York began when last week some senators anticipated that there would be an agreement to vote on the controversial treaty after the National Holidays holiday. Thus began a true comedy of entanglements with statements that come and go in which President Gabriel Boric himself became involved.
A) Yes, this Wednesday, the senators of Approve Dignity -the block that supports President Boric- responded to the eventual agreement to vote, through a public declaration that such a decision does not exist and that they continue to have a “critical view” on dispute resolution mechanisms between investors and the State, among other aspects of the treaty. From which it can be inferred that they continue to deny their vote and eventual approval.
From New York, where he accompanies the president and participates in various business meetings, the minister of Hacienda Mario Marcel entered the debate that had already ignited in Chile, pointing out that “There are many things (of TPP11) that have changed along the way and I think the best thing is to have a discussion that is as informed as possible about it,” but leaving the responsibility of voting and its possible approval or rejection to the Senate, for which a simple majority is required.
Boric enters the debate
Later it was the president who addressed the issue and although he played down the differences on the issue in the ruling party, he was less diplomatic than Marcel, conceding the political point to I Approve Dignity when “it is totally true that the TPP11 is not part of our program”, as they have argued from the coalition; whereupon he added without hesitation that “Therefore, it is not something that the government is promoting.”
The words of the head of state caused concern in Chile, where they are not overlooked the Chancellor Antonia Urrejola’s words from just a few weeks ago that the TPP11 along with the agreement with the European Union (EU) will be priorities for the Foreign Ministry.
As if that were not enough, while the controversy continues to gain strength in Chile, a few hours later the minister Marcel referred to the subject again, trying to interpret the President’s statements, and to try to reduce uncertainty, this Thursday he assured that “the government will not oppose the discussion of TPP11 in Congress” and that if approved, the Executive will present a project to ratify the side letters that are currently being negotiated with the signatory countries, which would incorporate modifications to the original pact.
Meanwhile, this Thursday a group of senators who support the treaty, came out to defend it, deepening the differences in the ruling party. The first of them was Senator Ricardo Lagos Weber (PPD). Unusually harsh with Boric, he recalled that it was the government that made progress in reopening the debate on TPP11 “by pointing out, at the end of the political committee on Friday, September 9, that it would seek to sign some side letters or bilateral letters with the members of the TPP”, which “in my opinion, translates into promoting the TPP”, he stated.
Another PPD, the president of the RREE Commission of the Senate, Jaime Quintana, pointed out that “it is advisable that the government not be neutral in this matter” and that the negotiations for the side letters they would reduce the uncertainty that exists about the TPP11 and that “this path is highly positive”.
The official senator José Miguel Insulza (PS) acknowledged to the newspaper La Segunda that Boirc “generated noise” and he elaborated, explaining that the president has a problem, since at the time he was part of the campaign against the treaty, but today in his capacity as President he must settle the issue.