Trans-Pacific Partnership

TPP critics oppose monopolies and increased corporate rights, not trade itself

11 August 2016

Donald Trump, like Pauline Hanson in Australia, combines anti-immigration rhetoric with disillusionment with previous trade deals which have not delivered on exaggerated promises of jobs and growth. But it is too easy to dismiss all Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement critics as protectionist or anti-trade, writes Dr Patricia Ranald for Fairfax media today. Read the full article here.

TPP going too far for marginal economic gains says Tim Harcourt

August 2, 2016

UNSW economist Dr Tim Harcourt, former chief economist of the Australian Trade Commission, told The New Daily that, in some ways, the TPP is an example of free trade "going too far".

He gave the example of its protections for cross-border investment and the right for multi-national companies to sue governments in courts of arbitration if they enacted legislation that hurts their commercial interests - such as Australia's plain packaged tobacco.

Indonesia FTA and TiSA now top priorities

1 August 2016

With the TPP looking even less likely to pass through US Congress after the Democratic National Convention last week, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo appears to be setting his sights on other trade deals.

He has changed his rhetoric around the TPP, telling the AFR today: "We don't put all our eggs in one basket. The TPP isn't the be-all and end-all of free trade.” 

Privatisation creates unregulated monopolies: ACCC chairman

28 July 2016

Privatisation, deregulation and unbounded trade liberalisation are key pillars of the neoliberal economic agenda. This agenda is increasingly being questioned on both sides of politics. So-called FTAs regularly include competition, investment and procurement chapters which push for privatisation.

Most recently, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims - a longtime proponent of privatisation - is now saying "stop the privatisation". Read the full article here.

TPP provisions 'questionable', says Productivity Commission

26 July 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has provisions of “questionable benefit”, says the Productivity Commission, citing the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause allowing foreign corporations to sue the Australian government if they think the government has introduced or changed laws that hurt their commercial interests.

In its annual trade and assistance review, the Productivity Commission also expressed concern about term of copyright and noted the fact that the deal's future in the US is uncertain.

Read the full article in The Guardian here.

Critical voices as VP Biden pitches TPP in Australia

20 July 2016

US Vice President Joe Biden was in Australia this week talking up the TPP, despite the deal being unlikely to make it through the US Congress. At the same time, Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was in the US, trying to shore up support for the deal there.

AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald told the media “The TPP is so unpopular in the US that Australian Ministers are being recruited to lobby for it there, while US officials are talking it up here, urging the Australian Parliament to pass it before the US does."

Listen to the radio interview  and read our media release here.

Stronger Copyright monopolies on the Internet

Copyright law is meant to maintain a balance between the right of creators to a reasonable income through payments for the use of their work, and the rights of consumers to fair use of information.

Most copyright is now held by corporations, which lobby for trade agreements to extend their rights.

The TPP locks in strong specific legal rights for copyright holders and criminalisation of copyright breaches, with much vaguer references to fair use provisions for consumers.

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