Over 120 people from 20 union, church, aid and environment organisations rallied outside the Sydney public hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties concerning the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11). Speakers focused on the impact the TPP-11 would have on workers, temporary migrant workers and women, the cost of medicines, and the extra rights it would give investing corporations to sue the Australian government. The JSCOT and a Senate Inquiry will report back to parliament in September on whether or not the parliament should vote in favour of the legislation to implement the TPP-11. The protest movement is urging MPs to vote against the implementing legislation. See photos here.
June 13, 2018: US President Donald Trump wrecked the furniture in the ‘global free trade’ shop at last week’s G7 meeting in Canada, making retaliatory tariffs by Canada, Europe and Mexico against US exports inevitable.
June 12, 2018: Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, last Friday made a brief but stunning statement in a media conference in Japan that he will review the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP-11.
Dr Mahathir said he believes weaker economies like Malaysia are at a disadvantage under the current terms, "It is important to take into consideration the level of development of a country."
7 June 2018: The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published a policy brief titled, ‘Corporate rent-seeking, market power and inequality: Time for a multilateral trust buster?’.
It notes that increased market concentration and corporate rentierism is driving global income inequality:
Wednesday 6 June 2018: Martin Khor from the Third World Network (TWN) and the Consumer Association of Penang, has urged the new Malaysian government to reconsider support for the TPP-11, and trade policies more generally.
June 4, 2018: Veolia, the giant French corporation which operates in Australia and world-wide, has finally lost its claim against Egypt over a waste management contract dispute in which they claimed compensation for an increase in the minimum wage under a new labour law. Its claim was for €174 million (A$268 million), and was launched in 2012.
June 1, 2018: President Trump last month imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China and Japan, and has now extended these to Canada, Mexico and the EU. The pretext for these actions is that the aluminium and steel industries are essential to US national security. The US now faces tariff retaliation from all of these countries, as well as legal action through the World Trade Organisation, which is not likely to accept the national security argument.