October 9, 2017: Today, Trade Ministers from only 35 countries will attend a “mini-Ministerial” in Morocco which is intended to solidify the agenda for the upcoming 11th Ministerial Conference of the 164-member WTO (MC11) to be held December 10-13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
October 5, 2017: Is PACER Plus agreement a good deal for all parties? And why didn't Fiji and PNG sign it?
AFTINET recently spoke to Dateline Pacific about the implications of the deal, and whether it is skewed towards Australia and New Zealand’s interests to the detriment of other parties.
October 5, 2017: The U.S. International Trade Commission has identified ‘market opportunities’ and barriers to global digital trade in a recent report. Based on input from the US digital industry, the report argues that many government regulatory and policy measures are obstacles to competitive digital trade.
September 25, 2017: A coalition of labour, public health and environmental groups have urged the United States to remove the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS) from NAFTA, arguing it undermines State sovereignty, human rights and environmental protections.
September 25, 2017: Last week the eleven remaining countries attempting to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the ‘TPP-11’) met in Tokyo.
They will meet again in Japan next month, and hope to reach general agreement by November.
September 20, 2017: A new economic study has completely undermined previous claims that the Trans-Pacific partnership agreement without access to the giant US market would still result in significant economic gains for the remaining 11 countries.
September 18, 2017: Ambassadors from Canada and Mexico have told Politico that their governments want to keep Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), despite the fact that most NAFTA ISDS cases have been taken by US companies against their governments.
September 10, 2017: Vanuatu signed PACER-plus at the Pacific island forum meeting of leaders in Apia. Samoa. PNG and Fiji , the two largest PI economics, have still not signed. The leaders statement from the forum, which deals with a wide range of issues like climate change, security and fisheries, as well as trade issues, barely mentioned PACER plus. The agreement has still not been tabled in the Australian Parliament, but this could take place soon.
September 12, 2017: RCEP Ministers met last week in Manila to assess progress in the negotiations. Filipino community groups met with negotiators and organised forums and protests.