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Community opposition defeats TPP Fast Track Bill in US Congress

Media Release June 13, 2015

“Despite procedural manoeuvres, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Fast Track Bill was defeated in the US House of Representatives overnight. This was a victory for the US community campaign against the secrecy of the TPP process and provisions of the TPP which threaten jobs, medicine prices, food safety and Internet freedom and would expose health and environmental protections to challenges from foreign investors, and lack meaningful and enforceable labour rights and environmental protections,” Dr Patricia Ranald Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) said today.

AMA, health experts say Big Pharma could sue government over PBS

June 12, 2015: In more reactions to the leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership's (TPP) annex on pharmaceuticals,  The Guardian quotes Australian Medical Association's Dr Brian Owler's concern that  foreign investor rights to sue governments, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) will apply to government regulation of  medicine prices through the PBS. “We are worried about the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism..The problem is our concerns have been dismissed by the trade minister ”

Dr Deborah Gleeson writing in the Drum said that pharmaceutical companies will be able to sue governments directly over their pharmaceutical policies in international tribunals using the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) - and the terms of the annex may bolster their claims.

TPP leak reveals Big Pharma controls on PBS

June 11 2015: The leaked Healthare Transparency Annex of the Trans-Pacifc Partnership (TPP) caters to the interests of the pharmaceutical industry by placing limits on the operation of  schemes like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which make medicines more affordable in Australia and other TPP countries, says public health expert Dr Deborah Gleeson, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax media today. . The controls include  more avenues for pharmaceutical company influence and greater opportunities for them to contest  government decision-making, setting a terrible precedent for using regional trade deals to tamper with other countries' health systems, says Dr Gleeson. Read her extended analysis here

AFTINET ABC Radio interview: foreign investors could sue over food labelling

June 10, 2015:The Federal Government is investigating how country of origin labels on food can prevent the type of health scare caused by the Hepatitis A outbreak earlier this year, which was blamed on frozen berries from China.But the Government is facing the risk of being sued by foreign companies if these new labelling laws aren't brought in before two major trade deals come into effect.

Australian MPs allowed to see secret TPP text but can't reveal contents for four years

2 June 2015: Leonore Taylor writes in The Guardian Australian Edition that Australian politicians have been told they can view the current confidential negotiating text for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, but only if they agree not to divulge anything they see for four years, despite expectations the deal could be finalised within months.

ACTU Congress slams TPP

May 27, 2015: One thousand union delegates at the ACTU Congress endorsed a resolution calling on the Australian government to  release the TPP text or withdraw from the TPP negotiations, criticising the impacts of the TPP on access to affordable medicines,environmental protections, food safety standards, workers’ rights, and the inclusion of investor rights to sue governments as an attack on democracy and sovereignty.   

Parliamentary Cross-Party group challenges TPP

May 25, 2015

100 people attended the successful launch of a TPP cross-party working group by Melissa Parke MP (ALP), Senator Peter Whish-Wilson  (Greens), and Senator Nick Xenophon (Independent). All three parliamentarians voiced concerns about the secrecy of the TPP negotiations and its potential impacts on many areas of public policy including medicine prices, copyright, Internet regulation and  environment and food regulation. They also criticised the inclusion in the TPP of special rights for foreign investors to sue governments over domestic legislation, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement, (ISDS), which could undermine democratic legislation and national sovereignty, and called for the release of the TPP text for public scrutiny before it is signed ,