12 February 2018: The latest round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement have just concluded in Jakarta. Japan, the second largest exporter of intellectual property in the world, is leading the push for extended intellectual property protections.
8 February, 2018: The Australian Information Commissioner has given the Federal Government 28 days to release the total legal costs in the Philip Morris tobacco plain packaging case against Australia. Outrageously, these costs were blacked out of the final tribunal decision on costs, presumably at the request of both parties. It has taken a long FOI battle initiated by Senator Rex Patrick (NXT) to achieve this result.
5 February, 2018: Unfortunately, the Turnbull government’s Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 is about a lot more than just banning donations from overseas individuals and entities. It includes clauses that would severely limit advocacy on human rights and trade justice.
January 31, 2018: Unions across the Asia-Pacific have condemned the latest version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the poorly named ‘Comprehensive Progressive Agreement on TPP’.
The 11 remaining countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed on a new text and new name to revive this failed agreement, but it is still a bad deal. They agreed to rename the deal and to suspend some of its most controversial clauses, pending the possible US return to the agreement, and it was signed on March 8, in Chile. But it is still a bad deal. It includes foreign investor rights to sue governments, restrictions on regulation of essential services and more vulnerable temporary workers without testing if local workers are available. The implementing legislation will be reviewed over the next few months by a parliamentary committee on which the government has a majority. Send a message to the opposition parties and independents to demand a Senate Inquiry and independent assessment of the real costs of the deal.
Send a message to demand a Senate Inquiry that can assess the real costs of the re-badged TPP!
Media release, 24 January 2018: “The rebranded TPP 11 outcome announced today appears to be a mess of separate deals cobbled together to meet issues raised by Canada and others, which Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has described as “18 free trade agreements” for Australia.
22 January 2018: A report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) last week has revealed that Canada has paid out nearly $220 million in losses under the NAFTA investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), and $95 million in legal fees defending against ISDS claims.
January 19, 2018: A new report by Greenpeace, Justice for People and Planet, uses 20 case studies of global corporations to explain how corporate power is being used to violate human rights and environmental rights. The report argues that governments should adopt 10 Principles for Corporate Accountability to curb ‘corporate capture, collusion and impunity’.
January 16, 2018: Bloomberg reports that Japan’s income from monopolies on brands, patents (including medicines) and copyright has jumped by 74% over the past five years to a record high. That is why Japan has replaced the US as the major champion of stronger medicine and copyright monopolies in the TPP-11 and RCEP negotiations.