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. PACER-plus negotiations began in 2009 with 14 Pacific Island countries involved in the talks. The deal was signed on June 14, 2017, but the two largest economies, Papua New Guinea and Fiji , representing 80% of the combined GDP of Pacific Island countries, did not sign. Both have said the agreement threatens their infant industries and would not benefit their economies.
PACER Plus was tabled in the Australian parliament in November 2017 and was reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties which reported on May 9, 2018. Community groups made submissions recommending against implementation, pending independent assessments of the economic, environmental , health and gender impacts of the deal in Pacific Island countries. See the AFTINET submission here and the Committee Report here. The report admitted that he absence of Fiji and PNG greatly diminished its significance, that the main benefits would flow to Australia and New Zealand and that rapid removal of tariffs and services deregulation could harm small and vulnerable Pacific Island economies.Despite these admissions, the report recommended that the implementing legislation be approved. See AFTINET analysis here..