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AFTINET in The Guardian: Trade rules have thwarted global efforts to fight Covid – the WTO must waive monopolies on vaccines, treatments and tests

24 February: In an opinion article in The Guardian, AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald has explained how the global trade system is failing to put public health before profit, and what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) must do to address global inequity in access to pandemic medicines

“Access to vaccines, tests and treatments must not be delayed” – AFTINET joins global civil society open letter to WTO

23 February, 2022: Ahead of key meetings at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), AFTINET has joined more than 200 civil society organisations around the world in an open letter calling on the WTO to ensure that any waiver on patent monopolies goes beyond COVID19 vaccines to include treatments and tests.             

Media Release: WTO must fix unjust global access to vaccines, treatments, and tests at meetings this week

February 22, 2022 Media Release: The World Trade Organisations (WTO) this week must seize the opportunity to address the global inequity in COVID19 vaccines, tests and treatments, say vaccine equity advocates. While in Australia debate has focused on the availability of free rapid antigen tests (RATs), globally there is inequitable global access to tests, vaccines and treatments that are critical to protecting people from COVID-19.

Philippines delays RCEP ratification as NZ and Philippines seek to exclude Myanmar

February 20, 2022: After a fierce debate, prompted by farmers’ organisations, the Philippines Senate adjourned in February without endorsing the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries.

Parliamentary committee recommends that UK and Taiwan should join the CPTPP, but not China

February 14, 2022: The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade (JSFADT) held an inquiry into  he expansion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific partnership (CPTPP) in 2021, and  the committee report was released on February 10, 2022.

The government has a majority on this committee, which makes general investigations into trade issues. The UK, China and Taiwan applied in that order in 2020 to join the CPTPP, and their applications will be considered by the eight of the eleven governments that have ratified the agreement.

The report recommends that Australia support the applications of the UK and Taiwan, but places conditions on support for China’s accession.