PACER-Plus barely mentioned at Pacific Island Forum Meeting
September 10, 2017: Vanuatu signed PACER-plus at the Pacific island forum meeting of leaders in Apia. Samoa. PNG and Fiji , the two largest PI economics, have still not signed. The leaders statement from the forum, which deals with a wide range of issues like climate change, security and fisheries, as well as trade issues, barely mentioned PACER plus. The agreement has still not been tabled in the Australian Parliament, but this could take place soon.
At the forum Prime Minister Turnbull announced renewed engagement with the Pacific islands. He signed agreements for temporary workers from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru to work in in rural and remote towns for up to three years to cover shortages in low and semi-skilled jobs, claiming this would be subject to labour market testing. Australia will also conduct aerial surveillance missions to patrol Pacific fisheries and Tonga, Nauru and Tuvalu are to receive help from the Therapeutic Goods Administration to assess the safety of new medicines. His statement only briefly mentioned PACER-plus.