Latest News

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.

Free trade agreements not the great deal we've been sold

22 June 2016

Former deputy secretary in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and High Commissioner in Canada Greg Wood writes that free trade agreements are not the great deal we've been sold.

He argues for less secrecy in trade negotiations and is critical of the China FTA, calling it a "rubbery document, lacking true reciprocity.” 

On the ISDS provisions in the TPP and other deals, he argues that the wording of claimed “carve outs” for health and environment open a "field day for lawyers”.

Read the full article in Fairfax Media here.

Clinton to renegotiate dud deals and reject TPP

21 June 2016

In a major economics policy speech today, US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that trade deals which are not working for Americans should be rejected, and agreements like the TPP which don’t meet high standards for raising wages or creating good-paying jobs should be rejected.

She also contrasted her views on trade with those of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who also opposes the TPP. 

“There's a difference between getting tough on trade, and recklessly starting trade wars,” she said.

Read the full article here.

TPP future unpredictable: this is not the time to let our guard down

19 June 2016

TPP proponents and opponents in New Zealand discuss the likelihood of the TPP being approved in the US lame-duck period - that is, after the election on November 2  but before the new president’s term begins.

The only conclusion to make at this stage is that the future of the TPP is still highly uncertain, but we certainly can’t be letting our guard down in the hope that it will fall over in the US.

Like the TPP, RCEP is on track to become a very bad deal for medicines: MSF

15 June 2016: As negotiators meet in New Zealand this week for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the agreement threatens access to affordable medicines for half the world’s population and appeals for the removal of harmful intellectual property provisions that could potentially raise treatment costs by creating new forms of monopolies and delaying the entry of affordable generics in the market.

Former UN official says claimed TPP benefits ’bogus’

June 15, 2016: Former UN official Professor Jomo Kwame Sunderarm told ABC Radio National that the claimed economic benefits from the TPP were based on studies which ignored employment effects and other costs including the cost of increased medicine monopolies and the cost of foreign investor rights to sue governments.  

He also spoke at a successful public forum in Sydney on Tuesday, hosted by AFTINET. You can read Professor Sunderarm's opinion piece below.