Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

TheTrans-Pacific Partnership (now the TPP-11) was  originally  a massive free trade agreement involving Australia, the US and ten other countries, which reduces our democratic rights while increasing the rights of global corporations. The US withdrew in 2017, and it became the TPP-11, with some changes, but most of its worst features remain.

The TPP-11 is bad  bad for:

  • Democracy. It allows global corporations to sue governments over health, environment and public interest laws. Read more.
  • Essential services:  locks in deregulation, promotes privatisation and prevents future governments from regulating in the public interest, Read more
  • Workers. Contains no real protection for labour rights or migrant workers, and removes labour market testing for vulnerable temporary migrant workers. Read more.
  • The environment. Lacks enforceable commitments to key international agreements, does not mention climate change and allows corporations to sue over new environmental laws. Read more.

Economists and the World Bank predicted The original TPP 12 would not deliver promised jobs and growth

After six years of community campaigning, the withdrawal of the US in January 2017 meant the TPP could not be implemented.

The Turnbull Government threatened to rush the TPP’s implementing legislation through Parliament  to get approval for a dead agreement. A Senate inquiry report  said no to the  implementing legislation in February 2017. 

TPP-11 rebadged as the CPTPP in 2018

But Japan and Australia led the pushed for a  revived TPP-11 without the US. In November 2017 TPP -11 negotiators rebadged the deal as the Comprehensive Progressive TPP (CPTPP) and suspended some of its most controversial clauses, (but not ISDS). The text was tabled in Parliament on March 26, 2018, triggering a Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Parliamentary Inquiry. Community campaigning also resulted in a Senate Inquiry before parliament votes on the implementing legislation in September. 

 See brief analysis here  media commentary here and our printable TPP-11 flyer here.

For in-depth analysis and resources, including AFTINET’s submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiries,  click here.

Updated: July 2018

Columbia University study finds ISDS costs outweigh benefits for many governments

August 14, 2018: A recent study published by the Columbia University Centre for Sustainable Investment evaluates the costs and benefits for states of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in trade and investment agreements. It concludes that expected benefits in terms of increased levels of foreign investment have not clearly materialized, whereas the costs have been unexpectedly high.

Global support for Peruvian Indigenous leader following ISDS case against indigenous land rights

August 9, 2018: The Canadian mining company Bear Creek recently won an ISDS case against Peru and was awarded US$37 million in compensation and costs. The government had refused a mining license because the company had not sought full and informed consent from indigenous people, resulting in mass protests against the mine in 2011. AFTINET has been using this case as an example of how ISDS can undermine indigenous rights.

49 community organisations ask Labor politicians to oppose TPP-11 implementing legislation

Following the US withdrawal from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-12), a rebadged version of the agreement has emerged, known as the TPP-11. The TPP-11 suspends, but does not delete, some of the worst clauses on longer monopolies on biologic medicines, but these could be resurrected if the US returns to the agreement.  The TPP-11 still contains the following provisions, all of which contradict Labor’s Trade Policy Platform:

Explainer: Where is the Trump trade war heading and what’s the alternative?

July 25, 2018: The US Trump administration is escalating its America First strategy of using its power as the world’s strongest economy to get more benefits for US corporations from individual trading partners, in the hope of domestic political advantage in the mid-term Congressional elections due in November 2018. But there are long-term consequences for the global economy and the global trading system.

ISDS in the Canada-EU FTA (CETA) still an obstacle

July 16, 2018: AFTINET has previously reported on decisions in 2017 and 2018 by the European Court of Justice which found that foreign investor rights to sue governments in international tribunals (ISDS) was incompatible with national sovereignty and EU law. This means the European Parliament cannot decided to ratify agreements containing ISDS, and that each national government has to vote on ratification of agreements if they contain ISDS. These decisions followed strong European public opposition to ISDS.

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