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.