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ACTU leader says trade deals must not undermine workers’ rights

March 22, 2018: In her speech to the National Press Club yesterday, ACTU secretary Sally McManus argued that unfair trade agreements like the CPTPP were contributing to casualisation and underpayment of wages, and that major changes were needed to the industrial relations system.

She said "these trade agreements are not free, they are a complex set of rules negotiated by governments, pushed by big corporations."

Videos from our recent forum on women and the TPP

15 March, 2018: On International Women’s Day AFTINET and ActionAid Australia hosted a successful forum on the impact that the TPP would have on women across the globe. The forum was moderated by Jill Biddington from APHEDA- Union Aid Abroad and Dr Patricia Ranald (AFTINET), Michelle Higelin (ActionAid Australia) and Jane Brock (Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association) all gave short presentations. A video recording of the full forum has been posted here, thanks to ActionAid Australia.

Government fights to keep Philip Morris costs secret

14 March 2018: The Australian government has appealed a directive from the Australian Information Commissioner to release the total legal costs in the Philip Morris tobacco plain packaging ISDS case. Although Australia won the case, it took over four years and Australia reportedly spent $50 million in legal costs. As we have previously reported, both the proportion and the total costs were blacked out of the final decision in that case, and the government has refused to release the details.

CPTPP signing Trumped by US tariff move

March 12, 2018: The Comprehensive Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership – even without the US – is still about maximising corporate rights and minimising government regulation in the public interest.  Despite the suspension of 22 clauses, foreign corporations will still have the right to bypass national courts and sue governments if they can claim that a change in law or policy harms their investment. And there are still 30 other chapters that mostly restrict future democratic regulation.

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