Pacific Island organisation shines critical light on PACER-plus
30 April 2017: The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has published a People’s Guide to PACER-Plus, aiming to explain the agreement and its impacts on the Pacific in accessible language.
PANG Coordinator, Ms Maureen Penjueli said it was crucial that every Pacific Islander has the opportunity to know how it will affect them, not just today but into the future.
“Trade deals are negotiated in secret and are often full of legal jargon that makes them completely inaccessible to governments, parliaments and ordinary people attempting to understand what they mean in practice. This Guide is a way to change that,” she said.
The PACER-plus agreement between Australia, New Zealand and 12 Pacific Island countries was finalised in Brisbane in April 2017, but without Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the Pacific’s two largest island economies. Both governments have said the agreement threatens their infant industries and would not benefit their economies.
AFTINET has said that the absence of PNG and Fiji shows that PACER-Plus has failed as a regional agreement.