Don’t repeat the failures of the TPP in other agreements

Media Release, November 22, 2016: The failed TPP should not be used as a model for the future trade agreements, a diverse network of community organisations has warned.

The warning comes after leaders discussed future trade deals at the APEC summit in Peru this weekend, including the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)*, which includes China but not the US, and a more long-term proposal for a future Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). 

AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said the TPP’s death should teach us some key lessons about future trade policy.

“Donald Trump didn’t kill the TPP. His opposition was only the final blow which came at the end of more than six years of criticism from public health, environment, church, union and other community organisations,” said Dr Ranald.

“These critics were not against trade itself but against unfair trade deals. Their criticism was based on human rights and environmental values.

“Even the pro-trade Productivity Commission criticised the TPP’s inclusion of corporate rights to sue governments and the entrenchment of monopolies as the opposite of free trade.

“Unfortunately, leaked RCEP documents show that some governments are pushing for TPP-like provisions on stronger medicine monopolies and corporate rights to sue governments in the RCEP.”

Dr Ranald said that these proposals in the RCEP are generating the same opposition as they did in the TPP. 

“The death of the TPP has shown that citizens simply won’t accept trade deals which entrench corporate rights and monopolies, and prevent governments from regulating in the public interest.

“These public policy issues should be debated and decided through a democratic parliamentary process, not secretly decided through trade deals. 

“The failure of the TPP shows that we need more open and democratic trade processes and fairer trade agreements.”


*The RCEP includes the 10 ASEAN countries plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand

Dr Ranald’s full article: Don’t repeat the failures of the TPP in other agreements

AFTINET’s APEC explainer: APEC: Lots of trade talk but no clear path forward


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