Pacific Islands Trade Agreement

PACER-Plus

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations - Plus (PACER-Plus) agreement between Australia, New Zealand and 12 Pacific Island countries was finalised in Brisbane in April 2017. The deal will likely be signed on June 14.

PACER-plus negotiations began in 2009 with 14 Pacific Island countries involved in the talks. However, the final deal did not include Papua New Guinea and Fiji,  the Pacific’s two largest island economies. Both these governments have said the agreement threatens their infant industries and would not benefit their economies. Vanuatu has also pulled out of the planned signing on the 14 June, wanting more time to assess the deal before making a decision.  Pacific Island, Australian and New Zealand community groups have signed a petition calling for independent assessments of the social impact of the deal in each country.

Pacific Island Seasonal Worker Program needs stronger union role

August 16, 2017: So far the Seasonal Worker Programs for Pacific Island and Timor-Leste workers in Australia have been kept separate from trade agreements like PACER-Plus. Trade agreements are rigid and hard to change, but a stand-alone agreement such as the Seasonal Worker Program for horticultural workers, can be adjusted. As Nic Maclellan argues in his Development Policy article, there is strong evidence that significant change is needed.

Pacific trade deal weakened by Fiji, PNG and Vanuatu withdrawal, say community groups

June 13, 2017, Media Release:Vanuatu’s decision to join Fiji and Papua New Guinea to boycott the signing tomorrow of the PACER-Plus trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and now only 11 Pacific island countries shows there are serious weaknesses in the agreement because the three largest Pacific island economies are saying there are no benefits for them,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.

Pacific Island organisation shines critical light on PACER-plus

30 April 2017: The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has published a People’s Guide to PACER-Plus, aiming to explain the agreement and its impacts on the Pacific in accessible language.

PANG Coordinator, Ms Maureen Penjueli said it was crucial that every Pacific Islander has the opportunity to know how it will affect them, not just today but into the future.

Pages