All members and supporters are invited to our annual AGM at 5.30pm Wednesday, November 9 at the Finance Sector Union on Pitt St in Sydney. Guest speaker Kyla Tienhaara has recently returned from the US and is the author of a new report finding that Australia should learn from Canada's experience with 39 ISDS cases being brought by US companies after signing the NAFTA trade agreement. Kyla will speak on ISDS, the TPP and the US election.
18 October 2016: Unions called for the TPP to be rejected at a parliamentary hearing on Monday, citing an independent analysis showing it could destroy 39,000 jobs by 2025.
ACTU's director of policy Belinda Tkalcevic said: The TPP is a toxic combination of more power to multinationals ahead of democracy and globalisation ahead of Australian workers.
18 October 2016: Australia's biggest business organisation was highly critical of the TPP at a parliamentary hearing yesterday. Rather than facilitate trade, the ACCI expressed concerns that it could actually make trade more complex, adding to the noodle bowl of complex trading terms that business has to navigate. This would further complicate compliance and costs for business. Read the full article here.
MEDIA RELEASE, 18 October 2016: Ninety-four public health and other community groups from 12 countries have condemned proposals for the inclusion of stronger medicine monopolies in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as secret negotiations continue this week in China.
The open letter to RCEP governments is available here.
16 October 2016: The Australia Senate has passed a motion brought by independent senator Jacqui Lambie to ban ISDS from being included in trade agreements.
October 15, 2016: After seven years of arbitration the ISDS case brought by mining company Pacific Rim against El Salvador has been found without merit, meaning the country will not have to pay the $250 million sought by the company.
However, there are no real winners. El Salvador had to spend over $12 million to defend the case, brought despite the mining company never fulfilling the legal requirements for a mining license.
The future of the TPP is looking increasingly rocky, but global corporations and the Turnbull Government are already setting their sights on another mega-trade deal, one which is even bigger and even more secretive than the TPP: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
12 October 2016: Intellectual property provisions in the China-led RCEP regional trade deal could block access to life-saving drugs for millions in Africa and Asia, warns Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) regional representative Dr Maria Guevara.
"The enforcement provisions attempt to prevent the flow of generic medicines from producer to patient, thereby providing a blank cheque for abuse," she writes.
October 11, 2016: Representatives from AFTINET, the Public Health Association of Australia and the ACTU are heading to Canberra today to address a cross-party forum on the TPP hosted by ALP MP Josh Wilson, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Senator Nick Xenophon.
10 October 2016: In their article The New Rules of the Road: A Progressive Approach to Globalisation, Jared Bernstein and Lori Wallach argue that a new approach to trade is needed when a new President takes office in the US.