The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations - Plus (PACER-Plus) is a proposed regional free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific Island Countries. Many of these are small vulnerable economies facing problems like rising sea levels resulting from climate change. Any regional free trade agreement that covers trade in goods, services and foreign investment needs detailed research on different sectors and industries that will be affected by greater trade liberalisation – yet very few studies have looked at the effect of PACER-Plus on specific industries.
Pacific governments are already struggling to provide public services like health, education, water, police and emergency services. Taxes on imported goods (often luxury goods) are an important source of revenue to fund these services. PACER-Plus would remove these tariffs which would reduce both public services and employment levels. AFTINET calls on the Australian government to focus its resources on climate change and development rather than trade negotiations.
Download our leaflet Development or Free Trade in the Pacific here.