Pacific Islands Trade Agreement

PNG 'not interested' in PACER Plus trade with Australia

8 August 2016

Papua New Guinea's Trade Minister Richard Maru has told new Australian Assistant Minister for Trade Keith Pitt that PNG would not participate in the PACER-Plus deal, according to ABC news reports.

"I know the Australian Government has been actively pushing the PACER-Plus policy within the region,” Mr Maru said. “I've made it clear that PNG is not interested and that I have directed all my officers not to entertain any negotiations."

Pacific urged to walk away from PACER-Plus

22 June 2016

A new report by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has urged Pacific Island countries to walk away from PACER-Plus trade talks.

The report, titled ‘Defending Pacific ways of life: A People’s Social Impact Assessment of PACER-Plus,’ comprises of assessments from leading academics in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia and looks at leaked PACER-Plus text. It concludes that Australia and New Zealand are pushing their own interests at the expense of the Pacific, and recommends that Pacific island governments should retain their legal right to regulate to protect their national development interests, which include the ownership and control of land, natural resources and the environment.

PNG not ready to sign PACER Plus as Pacific seasonal workers exploited in Aus

2 March 2016

Papua New Guinea has said it is not ready to sign the Pacer Plus trade deal between Pacific Island nations, Australia and New Zealand. PNG’s statement comes after more than six years of negotiations and despite the agreement being scheduled for signing in June this year. 

Adam Wolfenden from the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) speaks to ABC Radio about why PNG’s stance makes sense. Listen to the interview here

Australian aid and trade watchdogs denounce Pacific Islands Free Trade Agreement

Australian aid and trade watchdogs denounce Pacific Free Trade Agreement

SYDNEY: Independent Australian organisations, the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) and AID/WATCH, Australia’s aid monitor, have voiced serious concerns about the PACER-Plus Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Countries. Both organisations assert that PACER-Plus will leave Pacific Island Countries disadvantaged, and ignores calls from Pacific Islanders who claim that this agreement is not in their interest.

Solomon Islands negotiator concerned development neglected in PACER-Plus

Last week trade negotiators from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island nations met in Adelaide for the seventh Intersessional meeting of the PACER-Plus trade negotiations.

Robert Sisilo from the Solomon Islands Trade Negotiations Envoy expressed his concerns that the objective of PACER-Plus - to help Pacific Island Nations achieve economic growth and sustainable development - was being neglected in the ongoing negotiations. According to an article in the Soloman Star , Sisilo is concerned that Australia and New Zealand officials have "forgotton the reasons why PACER-Plus was launched".

Pacific Islands trade agreement progressing slowly

Progress on the PACER-Plus negotiations for a trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and 14 developing Pacific Island nations has been slow. The Pacific Islands are pushing for additional development assistance to be given as part of the trade agreement, which is being resisted by Australia and New Zealand. The Pacific Islands also want to include labour mobility in the deal, which would allow more Pacific Island workers in to Australia and New Zealand.

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