Media Release, May 14, 2018: “US President Donald Trump’s policy to end “freeloading” and force trading partners to increase prices they pay for US pharmaceutical exports is a direct threat to Australia’s policy of ensuring affordable medicines through our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
“This policy results from the US pharmaceutical companies absurd and unproven argument that if other governments abandon their affordable medicine policies and agree to higher prices, the companies would then lower their prices in the US. Both Canada and New Zealand have strongly rejected this push. There has so far been no reported response from the Turnbull government. We call on the government to reject this policy,” said Dr Ranald.
Media Release, May 9, 2014: “The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report on the PACER Plus trade deal between Australia New Zealand and nine Pacific Island countries admits that the absence of Papua New Guinea and Fiji ‘significantly diminishes’ the value of the deal,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
May 9, 2018: A Federal Court ruling in favour of US company Bilcon, which is seeking $500 million in damages from Canada, has prompted environmental groups to renew their calls for Canada to scrap ISDS in the NAFA renegotiation talks with the United States and Mexico.
May 8, 2018: According to an Inside US Trade report dated May 3, Investor-State Dispute Settlement is still a key issue at the current session of North American Free Trade Agreement talks between the US, Mexico and Canada. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appears determined to opt out of ISDS provisions, while big business groups are frantically lobbying to retain them.
4 May 2018: Today, several civil society groups have released a statement criticising their exclusion from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks in Singapore this week.
While Transnational Corporations and business groups have been invited to discuss their interests and concerns at the Singapore round of talks, civil society groups have been silenced. The full statement, posted on bilaterals.org, is copied below.
April 30, 2018: Celebrated French economist Thomas Picketty’s response to the ‘shock’ of Trump’s trade policy, calling for all new trade agreements to address inequality and climate change, has been republished as Trump intensifies his trade war this week.
May 3, 2018: The AFTINET submission to the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement is available to read in full here, and summarised below. The JSCOT report is due on August 22, 2018, after which Parliament will consider the implementing legislation. Our assessment is there is insufficient information for support the implementing legislation.
Relationship between PAFTA and the TPP-11
3 May, 2018: AFTINET's full submission to the Joint Committee and Senate inquiries into the TPP-11 is available here, and summarised below. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is due consider submissions, hold public hearings and report on August 22, but the government may attempt to cut short the process. The Senate inquiry is accepting submissions until May 31, and is due to report on September 18. Parliament will then vote on the implementing legislation.