The Senate Inquiry into Australia's trade agreement process is ongoing.The current process is secret, and Cabinet makes the decision to sign trade agreements before the text is published. AFTINET's submission (attached below) supports more open negotiations and public release of the final text of trade agreements for independent scrutiny, public and parliamentary debate before the decision to sign them by Parliament. If you want to make a short submission, some helpful points are here
March 3, 2015: A report released today by a large team of academics and non-government health organisations reveals that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) poses risks to the health of Australians in areas such as provision of affordable medicines, tobacco and alcohol policies and nutrition labelling. See Peter Martin's front page article in the Age, SMH and Canberra Times
February 28, 2015:Gabrielle Chan reports in The Guardian that the TPP could allow a foreign company to sue the government for damages if sales dropped after country of origin labelling was introduced, says the Public Health Association. See full article here
February 21, 2015: Peter Martin's article "Trans Pacific Partnership. What's the deal being negotiated in our name?" discusses the impact of the TPP on medicines and health,foreign investor rights to sue governments, copyright and finds no evidence of economic benefits.
February 14, 2015 Leading Australian and NZ medical experts have joined others from TPP countries in the International Medical Journal The Lancet to warn that the TPP threatens health and to call for public release and wide discussion of the text of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Februrary 9, 2015 Key health bodies have called for greater transparency in negotiation of the TPP to ensure Australians' access to medicines and public health initiatives are not adversely affected by the finer details of such a deal.
Australian Medical Association vice president Dr Stephen Parnis said assurances made by the federal government last year that it would not enter into an agreement that would have negative effects on Australia's health system were not enough."There must be a greater degree of transparency; we can't simply accept assurances from the government that health won't be compromised. The specifics really matter here",
Media Release February 9, 2015
New evidence has emerged that the US blackmailed Australia into agreeing to additional changes to Australian copyright law after the Australia-US free trade agreement implementation legislation was passed in 2004. The US refused to finally ratify the agreement without additional changes which gave even more rights to copyright holders at the expense of consumers. The same process is likely to occur if the TPP is signed this year,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Coordinator, said today.