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Consultations on trade deal with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): submissions due 30 April

Following a joint-statement between the Australian and UAE trade ministers on their intent to pursue a trade deal, DFAT is now accepting submissions from the public about the potential agreement before formal negotiations begin. DFAT has also foreshadowed interest in negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Both include countries which are notorious for human rights and labour rights violations.

Big Tech tries to spook Parliament away from anti-trolling regulations, citing free trade agreements

29 March, 2022: Representatives of Big Tech companies like Meta, YouTube and Twitter have lobbied parliament to water down regulations which would target online trolling and bullying, arguing that the regulations would be in conflict with the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement and free trade deals signed with other countries. 

Media Release: Leaked proposal on WTO COVID-19 monopolies a small step but more needed for equitable global access to vaccines and treatments, say advocates

17 March, 2022: After 18 months of talks, a  leaked document proposing a deal between the United States, the European Union, South Africa and India that claims to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines for developing countries reveals some positive steps. But advocates say more is needed to address the inequity resulting in only 4% of people in low -income countries having had two vaccine doses, and even less access to new  treatments. Under the leaked proposal, access to treatments and tests would not be included, but would be considered only after another six months’ delay.