This forum will examine how trade agreements like TiSA, the TPP and the RCEP promote deregulation, commercialisation and privatisation of services ranging from health, education and childcare, aged care and disability care to public transport, energy and water. It will also discuss strategies to defeat them.
August 9, 2017: Media Release: “The report of the government-dominated Joined Standing Committee on Treaties released yesterday on amendments to the Singapore FTA supports changes that are bad precedents for other trade agreements," Dr Patricia Ranald Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.
August 7, 2017. Media Release: “The Australian Fair Trade network of community groups condemns the attempt by the Coalition government to rush through implementing legislation for the WTO Government Procurement Agreement before the negotiations are even finished. This is like signing a blank cheque before the parliament knows the outcome of the negotiations and makes a mockery of the parliamentary process. The Parliament has never before passed implementing legislation for an unseen agreement,” AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
August 3, 2017: Economist Smitha Francis’ article in the Indian journal Business Today has strongly criticised India’s continuing participation in the RCEP negotiations because of the challenge to India’s sovereignty from the proposed Investor-State Disputes Settlement process.
August 1. 2017: The Australian government's announcement of bilateral talks with the Pacific Alliance of Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico brings the total number of current trade negotiations to ten. Most are seeking to replicate the failed TPP. See our handy two-page summary of all trade deals here.
July 30, 2017: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks in Hyderabad, India, ended on Friday July 28 under a shroud of secrecy, but serious differences remain on medicines, copyright, e-commerce, government procurement, and investor rights to sue governments .
July 28, 2017: According to The Hindu, India is being pressed in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks in Hyderabad to make binding commitments to open up its government procurement sector - by China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and two ASEAN bloc members, Singapore and Malaysia.
July 27, 2017: Members of community groups who attended brief consultations with negotiators at the RCEP talks in Hyderabad said that the refusal to disclose details of proposals meant the consultations were inadequate and demanded publication of negotiating texts.
July 26, 2017: Women's organisations, including small farmers and informal workers, were prominent in RCEP protests held in Hyderabad this week. The Hindu reports that increased global corporate rights could have severe impacts on women. For example, women farmers use seeds saved from the previous harvest. Patenting of seeds by global companies would price them out of reach.