11 December, 2017: As the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting begins in Buenos Aires, the Our World is Not for Sale network of over 250 civil society organisations has condemned the banning of selected activists and called for fairer trade rules for developing countries.
7 December, 2017: A new report titled ‘A World Court For Corporations’, published by European community and environment organisations, cautions that the Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) model being proposed by the European Commission will entrench corporate power, without changing the unfair power inequality in the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) scheme.
6 December, 2017: Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General and co-author of this critical study measuring the employment costs of the original TPP, has written an article debunking some of the main myths about the newly named Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP).
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.
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.”
November 28, 2017: The Turnbull government is trying to revive the TPP and retain many of the worst US-initiated clauses. The TPP-11 leaders have not met their deadline to finalise the text, but at the latest round of negotiations they salvaged a possible deal. The agreement has been rebranded the ' Comprehensive and Progressive TPP', and some of its most controversial clauses have been suspended, pending the US rejoining the agreement. The negotiations will continue in 2018.
November 27, 2017: The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper misses the opportunity to support a more democratic trade process and to address concerns from many community organisations about the use of secretive trade deals for domestic policy decisions. Trade deals should be subject to open democratic parliamentary processes.
November 23, 2017: GetUp! has produced a video about the zombie TPP – ‘now back from the dead.’
The TPP-11 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.
It’s not a done deal yet. But as the video explains –
AFTINET members and supporters are invited to our annual AGM to discuss what we’ve done over the past year and to make plans for next year.
Wednesday December 13 at 5.30pm
Finance Sector Union, Level 2, 321 Pitt St Sydney (near Bathurst St)
Followed by drinks and snacks
November 17, 2017: After five years and 20 rounds of negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will continue into 2018. This means that they have missed a deadline for the third time. The Leaders' statement lists 18 chapters for continued talks.
Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita has asked negotiating countries to be ‘more realistic and flexible’ about their standards. He also has referred to the RCEP as ‘the only game in town’, an apparent reference to the uncertain future of the TPP-11. Other reports say the new target for completion is November 2018.