Trans-Pacific Partnership

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.

Xenophon: trade policy must change to support jobs and diverse economy

June 9, 2016: Senator Nick Xenophon writes in the Australian Financial Review that Australia's free trade agreements with the US, Japan, Korea and China have been badly negotiated and lopsided.  While those countries have kept the right to have local content in government procurement and other industry policies, Australia has traded these away. He argues for a  more balanced and strategic trade policy to support local employment.

Read the full article here.

ALP trade policy welcome, but will it vote against the TPP?

June 7, Media Release: “The ALP trade policy released yesterday shows welcome responses to community concerns about secrecy, investor rights to sue governments and temporary workers, but will it vote against the  TPP implementing legislation ?" Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. Read the full release here.

ALP trade policy on ISDS, release of texts

June 7: The ALP trade policy released today shows the influence of community campaigning. It includes the release of draft texts during negotiations and tabling text of proposed agreements in Parliament before signing.ISDS provisions would be excluded from future agreements and be reviewed in existing agreements. Labour market testing would be reintroduced for temporary skilled workers.  AFTINET will publish an evaluation of all major parties' trade policies soon.

Free trade agreements threaten quality of public education: unions

2 June 2016
 
The National Tertiary Education Union, Australian Education Union and Independent Education Union last week wrote to the Coalition’s Trade Minister Steve Ciobo arguing that various free trade agreements would open the floodgates to private for-profit education and education services providers, potentially undermining the quality of services from domestic public providers, the Australian reports today.

45.8 million people live in slavery but TPP doesn’t ban forced labour

1 June 2016

NGO Walk Free has released its latest annual survey measuring slavery across the world and it has found that more than 45.8 million people live in slavery, including 4,300 people in Australia who are estimated to be in modern slavery.

Despite promises to tackle this human tragedy, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement does not ban products of child or forced labour, but only says that governments should ‘discourage’ it.

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