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Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Auckland: robust debate despite secrecy

Dr Patricia Ranald from AFTINET was at the TPP negotiations held in Auckland from December 2-12, where New Zealand civil society organised a massive critical public debate, despite being denied access to the negotiating venue . The New Zealand Government was put on the back foot on issues like access to medicines and the right of investors to sue governments.

Investor rights to sue governments hotly debated at Trans-Pacific trade talks in Auckland

“The US proposal in the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement for foreign investor rights to sue governments in international tribunals is a challenge to national sovereignty and should be rejected,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, will say in a presentation to negotiators Friday, December 7.

Community Group lockout spotlights secrecy of Trans-Pacific trade talks in Auckland

“Over 20 international representatives of health, union, consumer and environment organisations have been locked out of the Trans-Pacific talks venue in Auckland,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

"Many have travelled long distances at great expense, with no advance warning that they would be locked out for nine of the ten days of the negotiations.”

Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations Round 15: Auckland, New Zealand December 2 -12

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations between the US, Australia, New Zealand, and 8 other countries around the Pacific Rim, will be held in Auckland December 2 –12.

Community groups and unions are opposing the TPPA's corporate driven agenda, which seeks greater rights for international corporations at the expense of people; extending patents on medicines to charge higher prices for longer and with less regulation; stronger copyright laws on the Internet restricting Internet freedom; and rights for foreign investors to sue governments for damages if a law or policy harms their investment.

AVAAZ, the global online campaign, aims to get 1 million signatures for its petition on the TPP at the Auckland negotiations.

Read on and sign the petition today!
 

AFTINET paper on Philip Morris Case at TPPA Leesburg negotiations

On Sunday 9th September AFTINET Convenor, Dr Patricia Ranald, gave a presentation on the Philip Morris case and the dangers of Investor State Dispute Settlements to negotiators at the Stakeholders Forum of the Trans-Pacific Partnership 14th Round in Leesburg, Virginia.

Read the full paper here

Also check out the coverage of the presentation in The Sydney Morning Herald, Big Tobacco warning at free-trade talks

Direct Action @ TPPA Negotiations

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership's 14th Round of negotiations coming to a end and word of the talks continuing well in to the new year, activist from Occupy DC, the nearest Occupy group to the negotiations venue in Leesburg, Va., have made sure the negotiators didn't finish up their secret talks without hearing the views of the 99%.

Keeping up the pressure for Fair Trade! TPPA negotiators tweeted!

Our US friends at Citizen Trade Campaign (CTC) created a new program that allowed the public to send twitter-style messages to the trade negotiators at the latest round of Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Lessberg, Virginia.

Individuals sent their own personal tweet via the CTC website which were then projected up on a wall inside the resort where TPPA negotiators were meeting on Sunday, September 9.

Tweets such as "#TPP threatens the economy, the environment and democracy, not to mention the lives of millions!! I have a right to know what is being proposed in my name. #openTPP", sent by one individual on Sunday, helped send a powerful message, reminding negotiators that the world is watching them.

Check out the full stream online
 

AFTINET sends letter to the Government over TPPA negotiations

In conjunction with our E- card campaign (see above) for individuals to send a message to the Minister about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), AFTINET has sent a letter to both the Trade Minister and the Prime Minister, which has been endorsed by 30 community organisations.

The letter asks the Minister to resist pressure from business and to implement government policy against special rights for foreign investors to sue governments (known as investor-state disputes) in the TPPA and other agreements. The Philip Morris Tobacco company is using this special right in an obscure 1993 Hong Kong-Australia investment agreement to try to undermine the recent High Court decision in favour or the government's plain packaging legislation.

Read on to see the full letter!

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