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.

See links to the leaders’ statement and list of suspended provisions.

“The failure to conclude the deal shows that some governments still oppose provisions demanded by the US which they only reluctantly agreed to gain access to the US market. The renaming of the deal as the Progressive Comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership, insisted on by Canada, seems to be an effort to distance governments from the original TPP,” said Dr Ranald.

“AFTINET welcomes the suspension of some proposals for stronger medicine monopolies, including those on costly biologic medicines, which would delay the availability of cheaper versions of those medicines, and which were strongly opposed by public health and other community groups. But we believe there should have been deleted altogether rather than suspended pending a possible US return to the deal.”

The proposed deal still contains special rights to foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes to domestic laws, known as ISDS. It would also restrict future governments from re-regulating essential services like energy or financial services, despite demonstrated market failures, and it would result in more vulnerable temporary migrant workers, without testing if local workers were available,” said Dr Ranald.

“Australia has nothing to gain from a revived TPP. Australia already has free trade agreements with the US and all but three of the other ten TPP countries, (Peru, Mexico and Canada). This meant the TPP delivered minimal extra market access for Australia. Studies showed the TPP with the US would deliver hardly any economic growth to Australia after 15 years. The government has refused to do any studies on the impact of the deal without the US, but any economic benefit would be even less,”said Dr Ranald.

“The Australian government had already quietly conceded that a TPP without the US was unlikely by concluding a separate deal with Peru yesterday. Unfortunately this also includes ISDS.

Australia does not need the zombie TPP. We call for an end to secrecy and release of the text of all trade deals for independent studies of their social, health and economic impacts before they are signed,” said Dr Ranald.

Contact Dr Patricia Ranald 0419 695 841