June 13, 2017, Media Release: “Vanuatu’s decision to join Fiji and Papua New Guinea to boycott the signing tomorrow of the PACER-Plus trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and now only 11 Pacific island countries shows there are serious weaknesses in the agreement because the three largest Pacific island economies are saying there are no benefits for them,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.
9 June 2017: Vanuatu has pulled out of signing PACER-plus on June 14 in Tonga, wanting more time to assess its impacts before making a final decision.
7 June 2017: Pacific Island organisation PANG has called for more time to be given to civil society organisations and the private sector to assess the proposed PACER-Plus trade deal, with the full text being made available only two weeks before the planned signing ceremony. Read more.
1 June 2017: Pacific civil society groups meeting in Vanuatu on May 31 have criticised the PACER-plus deal ahead of a proposed signing next month, without the two largest economies of Fiji and PNG, which have said the deal does not benefit them.
31 May 2017: Australian company Kingsgate Consolidated is threatening to use the ISDS clause in the Thailand-Australia free trade agreement to sue Thailand after its government responded to community pollution concerns and ordered the closure of all goldmines, concluding the Kingsgate mine at Chatree.
29 May 2017: The recent announcements that the Australian Government will begin bilateral trade talks with both Peru and Hong Kong have brought the total number of ongoing negotiations Australia is engaged with to 10, plus two reviews of existing free trade agreements. Download our summary of the current status of ongoing negotiations here.
May 23, 2017: Eleven TPP countries met in Vietnam last weekend without the US to discuss the future of the failed deal, which Japan, Australia and New Zealand are pushing to resuscitate.
While there’s been a lot of hype in the headlines about a TPP revival, the actual statement agreed by TPP countries only commits them to completing a process to "assess options" for the future of the agreement before Ministers meet again on November 10-11 in Da Nang, Vietnam.