Media Release TPP Protest March 13, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                         March 13, 2015

Community protestors say secret Trans-Pacific Trade deal will harm access to medicines, environment and workers’ rights and demand release of text

“Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in Hawaii this week could give more rights to pharmaceutical, tobacco, mining and other international corporations at the expense of access to medicines, the environment and workers’ rights. Community groups are protesting to say no to shameful deals and demand release of the TPP text for public debate before it is signed,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.


The protest is at 12:30 PM, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade office, 123 Pitt Street Sydney (near Angel Place). Quotes from speakers follow.

“We know from  studies by health experts that the TPP contains proposals that would delay access to cheaper generic medicines, and restrict governments from regulating prices through the PBS. This means access to affordable medicines is at risk under the TPP. TPP proposals to restrict labelling could affect our ability to make informed, healthy choices about products ranging from imported berries to sugar-laden snacks, alcohol and cigarettes.  Public health should not be negotiated away in secrecy. The TPP text should be released for public scrutiny before it is signed,” Judith Kiejda, Assistant General Secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, said today


“The TPP gives special rights to foreign mining investors to sue Australia’s state governments if new environmental legislation affects their approval to mine. It will mean our governments have to put mining interests ahead of laws that protect health, environment and water. This doesn’t just undermine our sovereignty, it removes it,” said Isabel McIntosh, Lock the Gate Alliance.


“The TPP will encourage more off-shoring of manufacturing industry, meaning more job losses in an industry which has already been devastated by the Coalition’s removal of government support and other free trade agreements. Despite promises, there is still no agreement in the TPP for governments to implement enforceable labour rights. Foreign investors will be able to sue governments for damages over labour laws, just as the global Veolia Company is suing the Egyptian government over a rise in the minimum wage,” said Andrew Dettmer, National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.



Dr Patricia Ranald AFTINET Coordinator, 0419 695 841

Judith Kiejda Assistant General Secretary, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association 0414 674 119.

Isabel McIntosh, Lock the Gate Alliance 0412 407 472

Andrew Dettmer, National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, 0419 899 345.