Trade deal threatens essential services in the Pacific Islands

PACER-Plus negotiations towards a free trade agreement involving Australia, New Zealand and 14 of Pacific Island countries are underway this week in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and it is expected that trade in services will be discussed.

However, opening up all service 'markets' in vulnerable economies poses many threats to our island neighbours. Writing for Eureka Street, AFTINET campaigner Jemma Williams explains why.

Trade negotiations could affect Australia’s public hospitals

It appears that proposals on state owned enterprises in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) could also apply to enterprises at the state government level, which means they could affect our public hospitals.

A number of Australian health organisations and AFTINET have sent a letter to Trade Minister Richard Marles outlining our concerns that the TPPA could affect the operation of public hospitals and asking that public hospitals be clearly excluded from these proposals.

Letter to Trade Minister Richard Marles

The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) has sent a letter to Trade Minister Richard Marles detailing our concerns about clauses in trade agreements which would enable foreign investors to sue governments for damages on the grounds that government regulation harms their investment, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

The letter has been endorsed by more than 30 organisations Australia-wide.

 

Senator Questions the Secrecy of TPP Negotiations

Senator Abdul Shukor Mohd Sultan has called on the Malaysian government to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations public in order to allow feedback from the people.

He said the people had the right to know the details of the agreement as it would affect their cost of living.

"Why won't the government disclose the TTPA talks to the public? Is it too technical? Even the senators have not been provided with any information on it for our debates. Why the secrecy?"

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