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AFTINET calls on government to withdraw from trade negotiations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

April 21, 2022: AFTINET has called on the government to withdraw from trade negotiations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) until sustained improvements are demonstrated in human rights, labour rights, and women’s rights.

AFTINET endorses letter from 300 civil society organisations to South African and Indian leaders on COVID medicine monopolies

14 April, 2022: AFTINET has added its voice to an open letter addressed to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The letter, signed by more than 300 civil society organisations from across the globe, urges the leaders to reject the “unequal and inadequate” proposal on COVID19 medicine monopolies that has been leaked by the European Union (EU), and to stand firm on the original waiver proposal to the World Trade Organisation from India and South Africa.

Parliamentary Inquiry on the Australia-India interim trade agreement: submissions and inquiry delayed until after election on May 21

April 11, 2022: The interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement  (AIECTA) was announced on April 1 to selected media and the good news about increased agricultural exports was in the media before the text was signed and publicly released late on April 2. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) announced an Inquiry but submissions and the inquiry are now delayed until after the election on May 21.

AFTINET condemns secretive process and calls for full cost-benefit analysis of India-Australia trade deal

Media Release April 2, 2022: The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network of community groups has today warned that the “early harvest” trade deal between India and Australia must be independently evaluated to scrutinise both the costs and benefits for Australia.

The signing and release of the text just before the election and is due to be called after parliament has risen will also avoid any parliamentary scrutiny of the text until after the election.

Consultations on trade deal with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): submissions due 30 April

Following a joint-statement between the Australian and UAE trade ministers on their intent to pursue a trade deal, DFAT is now accepting submissions from the public about the potential agreement before formal negotiations begin. DFAT has also foreshadowed interest in negotiations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Both include countries which are notorious for human rights and labour rights violations.