March 6, 2017: Indonesia is pushing for Australia to import more palm oil and paper products as negotiations for a bilateral deal continue.
March 4, 2017: As RCEP negotiations continue in Japan, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has sent a letter to all negotiating countries to express their serious concern over provisions that threaten to restrict access to medicines for millions of people by delaying access to cheaper medicines and by allowing pharmaceutical companies to sue governments in international tribunals.
March 4, 2017: The Japanese family farmer movement recently protested outside RCEP negotiations in Kobe, Japan, with the message 'Seeds are ours!’
Photo: Japanese family farmer movement (Nouminren)’s recent action in Kobe during RCEP negotiations
March 2, 2017: AFTINET’s submission to the Foreign Policy White Paper consultation process makes 13 key recommendations for improving Australia’s future trade agreements and trade agreement processes for fairer deals in the future.
March 1, 2017: Australia and New Zealand are exerting more pressure to conclude the PACER-plus negotiations with Pacific Island nations, which have been ongoing for eight years, says PANG campaigner Adam Wolfenden.
March 2, 2017: As RCEP negotiations continue in Japan this week, copyright experts have voiced their concerns about the way the agreement’s intellectual property chapter could undermine the public interest.
28 February 2017: The Australian Government is pushing to finish negotiations for the free trade deal with Indonesia “as early as August”. While business groups are directly involved, there has been little communication with community groups.
February 27, 2017: Negotiations between Australia, New Zealand China, India, Japan, South Korea and 10 ASEAN countries continue this week for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, Japan. The negotiations are held in secret, and the Japanese government has been reluctant to allow community groups to meet with negotiators, only arranging a short meeting with little notice. Negotiations will continue through 2017.
Leaked documents have revealed that TPP-like proposals on stronger medicine monopolies and investor rights to sue governments are on the table. Community groups from most RCEP countries have urged governments to reject these proposals and release negotiating texts. See AFTINET media release here.
Tell the Australian trade Minister to say no to the TPP in the RCEP here.
22 February 2017: 280 organisations from five different continents have sent a statement to the CEO of OceanaGold, the Canadian-Australian company which recently lost an outrageous ISDS lawsuit it bought against El Salvador over mining licenses.
The organisations, including AFTINET, demanded that OceanaGold leave El Salvador and pay $8 million to the Government. Read the statement here.
20 February 2017: US President Trump says countries like Australia are “freeloading” because our government regulates medicine prices through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The PBS is a vital part of Australia’s health system because it helps to ensure lifesaving medicines are affordable and accessible.
At a meeting with pharmaceutical companies in January, Mr Trump said: