Media Releases

TPP 11 Sydney meeting outcome vindicates community concerns

Media Release  September 1, 2017:  “Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s call for minimal changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership text appears to have been rejected by the other TPP 11 negotiators who met in Sydney this week. Instead the 11 governments* have agreed to suspend controversial clauses on medicine monopolies and some governments want to renegotiate other clauses. This vindicates community concerns that that many TPP clauses are not in the public interest,” AFTINET convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.. 

Community and international health groups protest TPP revival at Sydney meeting

Media Release August 28, 2017: Community groups will rally today outside a meeting of trade negotiators from 11 of the original 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries* who are discussing whether the TPP can be revived without the US, and how much the text should be changed. 

“Trade Minister Ciobo should not be supporting revival of the dead TPP without change when there is strong community opposition and the Australian Parliament has not endorsed it,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET). 

Public health and other community organisations from most TPP countries have also written to all TPP ministers warning that TPP provisions would have serious consequences for the health of the people in TPP countries.

Queensland procurement policy not contrary to trade agreements

August 14, 2017: Media Release: “Trade Minister Ciobo is wrong to suggest that the Queensland government procurement policy to give preference to small local suppliers contradicts Australia’s current trade agreements. All of these agreements have exceptions which allow some preference to small and medium-sized enterprises. South Australia and Victoria have similar policies, as do Australia’s trading partners like the US and South Korea,” AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Singapore FTA changes echo TPP on ISDS, temporary workers and government procurement

August 9, 2017: Media Release: “The report of the government-dominated Joined Standing Committee on Treaties released yesterday on amendments to the Singapore FTA supports changes that are bad precedents for other trade agreements," Dr Patricia Ranald Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

No legislation before WTO procurement negotiations finished

August 7, 2017. Media Release: “The Australian Fair Trade network of community groups condemns the attempt by the Coalition government to rush through implementing legislation for the WTO Government Procurement Agreement before the negotiations are even finished. This is like signing a blank cheque before the parliament knows the outcome of the negotiations and makes a mockery of the parliamentary process. The Parliament has never before passed implementing legislation for an unseen agreement,” AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Government should release Philip Morris plain packaging case costs

July 10, 2017: Media Release: “We welcome the international tribunal decision that Philip Morris tobacco company should pay the costs of its failed case against Australia’s 2011 plain packaging law. But it is absurd and unacceptable that the tribunal has not released the amount of the costs, which have been blacked out of the published decision,” Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Pacific trade deal weakened by Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu withdrawal, say community groups

June 13, 2017, Media Release:Vanuatu’s decision to join Fiji and Papua New Guinea to boycott the signing tomorrow of the PACER-Plus trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and now only 11 Pacific island countries shows there are serious weaknesses in the agreement because the three largest Pacific island economies are saying there are no benefits for them,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.

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