September 2, 2021: A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) study reveals that Pfizer and Moderna, manufacturers of the two approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, have not made any agreements to transfer their technology and increase supplies of vaccines in low income countries. They have only signed contracts for the supply of vaccine ingredients with companies in high income countries and China.
Media Release September 1, 2021
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has released its Report 196 on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries including Myanmar and the Philippines.
August 26, 2021: The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has finally released its Report 193 on the trade agreement process in Australia, 12 months after public hearings were completed. There has been no official explanation of this long delay.
August 24, 2021: The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that the Federal Industry Minister Christian Porter has found that Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, who hold the patents for the only two mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, don’t want to licence or sub-contract to a local manufacturer.
August 23, 2021: An extensive report in The Saturday Paper exposes that the Morrison government is stalling on the proposal for a temporary waiver of 20-year monopoly patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
August 20, 2021 Media Release
“Thirteen national organisations representing millions of Australians have written letters to Labor and cross-bench parliamentarians arguing that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal fails the human rights test and should be changed before the parliament votes on the implementing legislation,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convenor, said today.
August 16, 2021: The campaign to change WTO rules to rapidly boost production of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and equipment is stalemated in the World Trade Organisation, but it has a new champion in Chelsea Clinton, now a professor of health policy at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
August 11, 2021: Pakistan has decided to terminate 23 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with different countries in order to avoid being sued by foreign investors. Already Pakistan is facing 10 Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claims, exposing it to billions of dollars in compensation.
August 5, 2021: Leaders of the Catholic, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ Churches and the trade union centre the AFL-CIO joined Jubilee USA for a meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai yesterday to support the waiving of COVID-19 vaccine patents at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
August 4, 2021: Italy could be forced to pay US$275 million (A$371 million) in damages to UK oil company Rockhopper Exploration, after it banned new drilling within 12 nautical miles of its coast in 2016. Rockhopper reports that it has spent just US$29 million (A$39 million) on the project.