2019 Election: Candidate meeting toolkit

Why does trade and investment policy matter in the federal election?

The Australian government is currently negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement (RCEP) with 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region that would cover half the wold’s population. The RCEP is being negotiated in secret and the text will not be released until the agreement has been signed. But we know from leaked documents that there are proposals that would benefit global corporations but undermine our democracy, human rights, labour rights and environment. These include:

  • Higher medicine prices through stronger monopoly rights for pharmaceutical companies to charge higher prices for medicines, which would delay the availability of cheaper versions of those medicines;
  • increased rights for global corporations to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes to health and environment laws, (known as ISDS) and
  • Increases in the numbers of vulnerable temporary workers by removing the requirement to test if local workers are available. Research show that these workers are often badly exploited because they are tied to one employer and can be deported if they lose the job.

Read AFTINET's Candidate meeting toolkit to see how you can take action in support of trade justice this election!