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Pacific trade deal PACER-Plus is PACER-minus without PNG and Fiji

Media Release, November 29, 2017: “The PACER-plus trade deal with Pacific Islands tabled in the Senate today has not been signed by Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the two largest Pacific island economies, which together represent over 80% of GDP of the combined island economies, “ AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. “Without the two largest Pacific Island economies, PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and should be called PACER-minus.”

No TPP campaign continues

November 28, 2017: The Turnbull government is trying to revive the TPP and retain many of the worst US-initiated clauses. The TPP-11 leaders have not met their deadline to finalise the text, but at the latest round of negotiations they salvaged a possible deal. The agreement has been rebranded the ' Comprehensive and Progressive TPP', and some of its most controversial clauses have been suspended, pending the US rejoining the agreement. The negotiations will continue in 2018.

RCEP negotiations to continue into 2018

November 17, 2017: After five years and 20 rounds of negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will continue into 2018. This means that they have missed a deadline for the third time. The Leaders' statement lists 18 chapters for continued talks.

 Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita has asked negotiating countries to be ‘more realistic and flexible’ about their standards. He also has referred to the RCEP as ‘the only game in town’, an apparent reference to the uncertain future of the TPP-11.  Other reports say the new target  for completion is November 2018.

TPP 11 need for further talks show flaws in the deal

Media Release November 11, 2017: “TPP 11 leaders meeting in Da Nang Vietnam have  agreed on some elements of a possible deal without the US, but have not succeeded in their aim of finalising the text. The talks have only been salvaged by an agreement to rename the deal, suspend some of its most controversial clauses and to have further talks over several months on issues raised by Canada and other governments,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Peru FTA includes investor rights to sue governments, but no text available for independent assessment

Media Release, November 10, 2017: The announcement of the completion of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement at the APEC meeting in Vietnam without access to the text again demonstrates the flaws in the secretive trade agreement process, in which governments announce agreements without making the text public and without independent assessment of the costs and benefits,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

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