Trade Ministers from 12 countries around the Pacific Rim met once again in Singapore on May 19-20. Their aim was a breakthrough in negotiations towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement involving Australia, Japan, the US and nine other countries around the Pacific Rim. They failed, yet again, to reach an agreement.
As TPP Trade Ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries meet in Singapore, fair trade, public health, environment, church, unions and other community groups have endorsed a letter to Trade Minister Andrew Robb. The letter calls on the Minister to reject harmful proposals in the TPP, which should not be agreed in secret negotiations.
Building on the momentum from March in March , marches will be held in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide this weekend. This is another good opportunity for us to bring along TPP banners and signs and to show a broad movement of people calling for a Fair Deal or No Deal in the TPP.
TPP groups have been confirmed in Sydney and Adelaide
Progress on the PACER-Plus negotiations for a trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and 14 developing Pacific Island nations has been slow. The Pacific Islands are pushing for additional development assistance to be given as part of the trade agreement, which is being resisted by Australia and New Zealand. The Pacific Islands also want to include labour mobility in the deal, which would allow more Pacific Island workers in to Australia and New Zealand.
AFTINET is running our first social media ‘Thunderclap’!
A Thunderclap is when social media users sign up in advance to post a specific message using either their Twitter or their Facebook accounts on behalf of an organisation (in this case, AFTINET). Then, at the same time, on the same day, the message is automatically posted to everyone’s account and creates a storm of social media activity around a specific issue.
This video is set in the European context but gives an excellent explanation about how trade agreements can include clauses that allow investors to sue governments - and why these ISDS clauses are so dangerous.
The government of El Salvador is being sued in an international tribunal by Pacific Rim, a mining company now owned by OceanaGold, based in Australia. The company seeks millions of dollars from the government over their refusal to issue a permit for environmental reasons.
The Trade and Foreign Investment (Protecting the Public Interest) Act 2014 was introduced into the Senate by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson in March 2014. The purpose of the Bill is to protect Australian laws by banning provisions which enable foreign investors to sue governments if domestic laws “harm” their investment, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson recently introduced a Bill to the Senate which aims to protect Australian laws by banning provisions which enable foreign investors to sue governments if domestic laws “harm” their investment, known as ISDS.
ABC Radio discusses the impact that trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), can have on our health - such as by leading to more expensive medicines, limiting our ability to introduce anti-tobacco measures, and restrict labelling on food.