The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) is a network of community organisations and individuals that has campaigned since 2000 for a fairer and more democratic global trade system, based on human rights and environmental sustainability.
Our successes include:
- Pressuring government to publish previously secret information about trade negotiations, enabling community groups to debate them.
- Raising awareness of the social impacts of trade agreements through community education, submissions to government and media debate.
- Reducing public support for the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) from 65% to 34% in 2004.
- Defeating some of the worst proposals in the AUSFTA, like threats to GM food labelling, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and giving corporations the right to sue governments over domestic laws, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). The AUSFTA is the only US bilateral agreement which does not include ISDS.
- Being part of global campaigns that defeated harmful proposals in the World Trade Organisation.
- Influencing the Productivity Commission 2010 report on Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements, which recommended against giving corporations the right to sue governments in trade agreements (ISDS), and against giving pharmaceutical companies more intellectual property rights in order to charge higher prices for medicines.
- Being part of the global campaign which defeated the Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement in 2011
- Influencing Australian Labor Government trade policy announced in 2011, which rejected the right of corporations to sue governments in trade agreements, (ISDS) and adopted the Productivity Commission recommendations not to extend intellectual property rights, and pledged to preserve the right of governments to regulate the price of medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.The policy against ISDS was reversed by the Liberal-National Coalition Government elected in 2013, but we have continued the campaign against ISDS.
- Supporting a 2015 Senate Inquiry into secrecy and lack of democracy in the trade agreement process, resulting in a Report called Blind Agreement which recommended a more open and democratic process
- Campaigning for six years with colleagues in other TPP countries against the TPP-12 corporate agenda, successfully lobbying for a Senate inquiry which recommended against the TPP implementing legislation in November 2016. After the US withdrawal, the re-badged TPP-11 was endorsed by the Australian Parliament and ratified in November 2018.