TPP Protest at ALP Conference, Melbourne on July 24 as TPP negotiators meet in Hawaii

MEDIA RELEASE, July 23, 2015

TPP Protest at ALP Conference, Melbourne on July 24 as TPP negotiators meet in Hawaii for possible shameful trade-offs

“Community groups are rallying in the Melbourne winter at 8 am on Friday July 24 outside the ALP conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre to ask the ALP to reject bad trade deals like the China FTA and the TPP. On the same day TPP negotiators begin their secret meeting in the luxury beach resort of Maui in Hawaii, with TPP Trade Ministers scheduled to meet there from July 28-31 to try to finish the deal,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and investment Network said today.

Leaked documents have revealed that US is still pushing for greater monopoly rights for its pharmaceutical, media, tobacco and other global corporations. These are the key sticking points which have been opposed by most other governments and by the Productivity Commission.

The US as the largest player has until now delayed making offers to increase access to its own agricultural and other markets to extract concessions from others. And we won’t see the text until after the TPP is signed, a process recently condemned by a Senate Inquiry.

The Coalition government seems ready to make shameful deals to reduce access to affordable medicines and to give foreign investors rights to sue governments in return for token access to US agricultural markets. Public health groups have summed this up as ‘don’t trade off medicines for sugar,’ “said Dr Ranald.

Dr Deborah Gleeson from the Public Health Association will be in Hawaii monitoring the negotiations from July 25. Community groups want the government to reject:

“Despite all these proposals for increased corporate rights, there is still no agreement for enforceable labour rights and environmental standards in the TPP. We call on the Government to reject these shameful trade-offs and on the ALP Opposition to pledge that it will reject the TPP implementing legislation if the TPP includes ISDS and other corporate-sponsored proposals and does not include enforceable labour rights and environmental standards,” said Dr Ranald.

Contact:         Dr Patricia Ranald AFTINET Coordinator, 0419 695 841                      Dr Deborah Gleeson in Hawaii by email