2017 Media Releases

Argentina bans community groups from World Trade Organisation Meeting, despite their being approved by the WTO

Media Release, December 1, 2017: In an unprecedented action, the Argentine government has revoked the accreditation of 63 civil society experts ― trade unionists, development advocates, digital rights activists, environmentalists, and others ― just days before the 11th Ministerial meeting of the WTO (MC11) in Buenos Aires, advising the WTO that the experts will not be allowed in the country to participate in the meeting. The majority of the rejected organizations work together through the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network.

Pacific trade deal PACER-Plus is PACER-minus without PNG and Fiji

Media Release, November 29, 2017: “The PACER-plus trade deal with Pacific Islands tabled in the Senate today has not been signed by Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the two largest Pacific island economies, which together represent over 80% of GDP of the combined island economies, “ AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. “Without the two largest Pacific Island economies, PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and should be called PACER-minus.”

TPP 11 need for further talks show flaws in the deal

Media Release November 11, 2017: “TPP 11 leaders meeting in Da Nang Vietnam have  agreed on some elements of a possible deal without the US, but have not succeeded in their aim of finalising the text. The talks have only been salvaged by an agreement to rename the deal, suspend some of its most controversial clauses and to have further talks over several months on issues raised by Canada and other governments,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Peru FTA includes investor rights to sue governments, but no text available for independent assessment

Media Release, November 10, 2017: The announcement of the completion of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement at the APEC meeting in Vietnam without access to the text again demonstrates the flaws in the secretive trade agreement process, in which governments announce agreements without making the text public and without independent assessment of the costs and benefits,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Community groups oppose ISDS in TPP-11 talks as US dumps ISDS in NAFTA, and NZ also says no

November 6, 2017 “The Australian Government should oppose foreign investor rights to sue governments in the talks attempting to resurrect the TPP without the US later this week,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

The talks will take place in da Nang, Vietnam on November 8-9, ahead of the APEC meeting to be held on November 10.

AFTINET welcomes Labor trade policy changes, but calls for clear rejection of unfair deals

October 30, 2017: The Australian Fair Trade network of community organisations welcomes the pledge by Shadow Trade Minister Jason Clare in his speech to ACCI today for the public release and independent economic analysis of trade agreements before they are signed, but there should also be health and environmental impact studies, AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

TPP 11 Sydney meeting outcome vindicates community concerns

Media Release  September 1, 2017:  “Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s call for minimal changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership text appears to have been rejected by the other TPP 11 negotiators who met in Sydney this week. Instead the 11 governments* have agreed to suspend controversial clauses on medicine monopolies and some governments want to renegotiate other clauses. This vindicates community concerns that that many TPP clauses are not in the public interest,” AFTINET convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.. 

Community and international health groups protest TPP revival at Sydney meeting

Media Release August 28, 2017: Community groups will rally today outside a meeting of trade negotiators from 11 of the original 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries* who are discussing whether the TPP can be revived without the US, and how much the text should be changed. 

“Trade Minister Ciobo should not be supporting revival of the dead TPP without change when there is strong community opposition and the Australian Parliament has not endorsed it,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET). 

Public health and other community organisations from most TPP countries have also written to all TPP ministers warning that TPP provisions would have serious consequences for the health of the people in TPP countries.

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