August 19, 2015: Shadow Trade Minister Penny Wong says Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made misleading statements about the impact of the China Free Trade Agreement on job opportunities for Australian workers, as the Government prepares to launch a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to defend the deal.
August 13: ABC online news China FTA fact check finds that the China FTA does not require checking for availability of local workers before decisions to employ temporary overseas workers, despite the Trade Ministers’ claims that such checking is required.
'A leaked draft TPP intellectual property chapter dated 11 May 2015, confirms that the US is still proposing extensions on medicine monopolies which would delay the availability of cheaper medicines. The draft was considered at the meeting of TPP Trade Ministers which failed to reach agreement on July 31,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.Dr Ranald said that another meeting is planned by the end of August. The US is continuing to press for:extension of data protection monopolies on expensive biologic drugs, which include treatments for cancer, from 5 to 8 years.
August 5, 2015 Dr Patricia Ranald's oped in the Sydney Morning Herald
With public hearings for the Parliamentary Inquiry into the China Free Trade Agreement under way, the Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the Liverpool Plains, in north-west NSW, may provide a test case for some of the key clauses in the agreement on governments' rights to regulate mining projects for environmental reasons and on the employment of temporary overseas workers on such projects.
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Media Release August 3, 2015
The failure of TPP Ministers to reach agreement in what was supposed to be the final round of negotiations last week vindicates the deep concerns of community groups that the TPP is secretly trading away issues like access to affordable medicines and governments’ right to regulate without being sued by foreign corporations. These are issues which should be decided though open democratic parliamentary processes, not secretly traded away for token access to sugar or dairy markets,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.
Ministers failed to reach agreement, but claimed “significant progress” and said “intensive work” will continue. Another Ministerial Meeting may be held at the end of August.
Over 5,000 people rallied against the China - Australia Free Trade Agreement outside the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties hearing taking place in the NSW Parliament House. The rally was organised by Unions NSW.
Over 300 people from unions and community groups protested about the China - Australia Free Trade Agreement and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership outside the ALP National Conference in Melbourne early on July 24, 2015.
MEDIA RELEASE, July 23, 2015
TPP Protest at ALP Conference, Melbourne on July 24 as TPP negotiators meet in Hawaii for possible shameful trade-offs
“Community groups are rallying in the Melbourne winter at 8 am on Friday July 24 outside the ALP conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre to ask the ALP to reject bad trade deals like the China FTA and the TPP. On the same day TPP negotiators begin their secret meeting in the luxury beach resort of Maui in Hawaii, with TPP Trade Ministers scheduled to meet there from July 28-31 to try to finish the deal,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and investment Network said today.