Media Releases

Pacific trade deal PACER-Plus is PACER-minus without PNG and Fiji

Media Release, November 29, 2017: “The PACER-plus trade deal with Pacific Islands tabled in the Senate today has not been signed by Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the two largest Pacific island economies, which together represent over 80% of GDP of the combined island economies, “ AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. “Without the two largest Pacific Island economies, PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and should be called PACER-minus.”

TPP 11 need for further talks show flaws in the deal

Media Release November 11, 2017: “TPP 11 leaders meeting in Da Nang Vietnam have  agreed on some elements of a possible deal without the US, but have not succeeded in their aim of finalising the text. The talks have only been salvaged by an agreement to rename the deal, suspend some of its most controversial clauses and to have further talks over several months on issues raised by Canada and other governments,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Peru FTA includes investor rights to sue governments, but no text available for independent assessment

Media Release, November 10, 2017: The announcement of the completion of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement at the APEC meeting in Vietnam without access to the text again demonstrates the flaws in the secretive trade agreement process, in which governments announce agreements without making the text public and without independent assessment of the costs and benefits,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

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.

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