April 29 2015: Professor Ron Labonte on trade and health equity, Professor Joel Lexchin on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, and Dr Deborah Gleeson on the health impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Australia and other TPP countries. See the video here.
Sunday, May 3, 2015: Dr Patricia Ranald's article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times and Melbourne Age supports release of trade agreement texts before they are signed and a Parliamentary vote on the whole text of trade agreements.
April 29, 2015: Laura Barron-Lopez reports in the Huffington Post that there is still majority opposition to Fast Track in the U.S. Congress. The combined Democrat and Republican supporters do not have the votes yet to pass the legislation that would give President Barack Obama fast-track authority on trade deals.
April 27, 2015, WASHINGTON, D.C. — An unprecedentedly united movement of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith, Internet freedom and other organizations escalated their campaign to defeat Fast Track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) today with a joint 2,009-group letter urging Congress to oppose it.
The Nation reports on April 25 that, as President Obama stepped up pressure on his fellow Democrats to approve Congressional fast-track trade authority that would ease passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, two leading Democrat Senators Warren and Brown responded by letter demanding that he release the negotiating text of TPP before Congress votes on fast-track authority.
Geneva, April 23: UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, expressed alarm at the general lack of awareness concerning the adverse effects that secretive trade agreements like the TPP have on human rights in many countries, particularly in the developing world.
The Age 17 April 2015
Deborah Gleeson and Pat Neuwelt write that recent pharmaceutical company lobbying repeats many of the same flawed arguments: that increasing intellectual property protection through the TPP will support innovation, investment in research and development, and access to medicines. If this rhetoric is swallowed by our politicians, the rights of transnational drug companies could end up trumping the rights of the public to affordable medicines.
April 16, 2015: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement includes proposals for special rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals over changes in domestic law or policy, if they can claim “harm” to their investment, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
ISDS tribunals have no independent judiciary and no system of precedents or appeals. The President of the World Health Organisation says tobacco companies are using ISDS cases to discourage tobacco regulation.
This two-minute video explains how the Philip Morris tobacco company has been suing the Australian government since 2011 for damages over Australia’s tobacco plain packaging law.
Special Guest Speaker: Katie Hirono
Katie Hirono is the lead author of the health impact assessment on the TPP which was a front page story in March, detailing impacts on medicine prices, tobacco control, alcohol and food labelling.
She is a Research Associate at the Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation at UNSW.See more information and booking form below.