Friday March 22, 2019: “It has taken a second FOI case and another two years to reveal that Australian taxpayers were only awarded half of the costs of defending Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws against tobacco giant Philip Morris in March 2017.
Thursday, March 21, 2019: The EU-Korea FTA came into force back in 2011, the first of the “new generation” trade agreements made by the EU. While the corporates have had a huge success with the deal, its promise to improve workers' rights has not been delivered.
Wednesday March 20, 2019: Lucy Manne interviews AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald on the impacts of trade agreements on the environment. They discuss the growing use of ISDS cases by mining companies to sue governments for millions of dollars to prevent regulation to address climate change, and the global movement against this.
Hear the full podcast here.
Monday, March 18, 2019: Third World Network Researcher Prathibha Sivasubramanian has pointed out the strong policy clash between India and leaked chapters in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership over medicine patents and investor rights to sue governments (ISDS). She urged India’s government to stand by its policies.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019: With the British Parliament again rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for the UK’s departure from the European Union by a huge 149 vote margin, the rapidly approaching deadline of March 29 is focussing global concern more than ever.
Wednesday March 6, 2019: Dr Patricia Ranald's article in The Conversation explains that the new Indonesia - Australia Comprehensive Partnership Agreement has no independent assessment of costs and benefits. There are no chapters committing both governments to United Nations standards for labour rights and the environment to prevent a race to the bottom. But it does have a chapter allowing foreign investors to sue governments if the investor can argue that a new law or policy has harmed their investment (ISDS). And it greatly increases the number of working holiday visas to be issued to Indonesian workers despite the evidence that many of these workers face grave exploitation in Australia. All of these issues contradict the new Labor Party trade policy.
March 5, 2019: Forty-one Indian farmer and civil society organisations have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing that India should not agree to proposals on intellectual property (IP) on seeds and plants at the on-going Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
Media Release March 4, 2019 ; “The Indonesia FTA has been signed without any public scrutiny of the text and without any independent assessment of its overall costs and benefits,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019: Members of SERUNI women’s organization, Front Perjuangan Rakyat (FPR), Papuan Student Alliance, and People Over Profit-Indonesia yesterday confronted the 25th meeting of the Trade Negotiating Committee of the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Agreement at The Westin Resort, Bali Indonesia. See video here.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019: Rich countries including Australia decided at the recent World Economic Forum meeting at Davos to push for an E-Commerce Agreement in the World Trade Organisation. Their formula is for ‘free digital trade’, for rules that suit global digital corporations – notably Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. This push has been strongly criticised by consumer and civil society groups.