Trans-Pacific Partnership

TPP gains ‘paltry': former UN official

30 May 2016

Former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Jomo Kwame Sundaram writes that recent TPP studies ‘greatly overstate benefits from the TPP’ and that even so the claimed gains are small.

He also writes that the TPP ‘will significantly constrain the policy space needed for governments to accelerate economic development and to protect the public interest.’

Read the full article here.

Leaked Trade in Services proposals would restrict regulation in the public interest

Media Release, May 26, 2016: Wikileaks has released the most updated draft texts on the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)[i]on three new annexes: State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs); Professional Services, and New Provisions Applicable to All Services.

The TISA is currently being negotiated among 50 mostly industrialised and service-exporting countries including Australia, the US, 23 EU countries, Japan and Korea.

Download the full media release here.

Time to think differently about trade

26 May 2016

Michael Brune, Executive Director of The Sierra Club writes that the TPP is deeply flawed and would be bad for the environment, bad for workers, bad for human rights, and bad for public health. 

But as he points out, "increasing international trade doesn’t actually require that we sacrifice our environment, health, jobs, or human rights. To be clear, the reasons why these so-called trade agreements are so dangerous has little to do with trade. They’re terrible because the powerful corporate insiders who do the negotiating (in secret, of course) pack them with provisions that protect and empower giant, multinational corporations — including some of the biggest polluters on the planet."

Read the full article here.

Hockey lobbying of US Congress shows TPP flaws

May 25, 2016: “Reports of Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey’s desperate attempts to lobby the U.S. Congress to support the TPP beg the question of why the Australian government should be supporting it,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.US bipartisan opposition to the TPP is now so strong that the US is now getting other governments to lobby its own Congress. There is something wrong with this picture.”

TPP Taking People’s Power Away: Kelvin Thomson

20 May 2016

Speaking at AFTINET’s Annual Trade Justice Dinner earlier this week outgoing Labor MP and deputy chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT), Kelvin Thomson, said that the public is entitled to conclude that the TPP has three strikes – the ISDS attack on sovereignty, the extension of biologic medicine monopolies and the increased numbers of temporary workers who can be exploited. Three strikes and you're out, he said.

US TPP economic report will increase US opposition

May 19, 2016: "The official U.S. International Trade Commission report released today on the impact of the  TPP on the US economy has predicted a tiny GDP increase of only 0.15 percent after 15 years. This will increase the strong US bipartisan Congressional opposition to the TPP and make it even less likely that the implementing legislation will be considered by Congress before the US election in November,"  Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener said today.

We took on big tobacco and won - but ISDS remains a threat to public health

18 May 2016

Documents unsealed this week show how Philip Morris lost its ISDS case against Australia over tobacco plain packaging.

Peter Martin explains that the tribunal found that Philip Morris had moved its Australian and Asian headquarters to Hong Kong for the express purpose of making the claim, and that this was an "abuse of rights". 

The fact that Australia won the case does not mean that ISDS provisions are not a threat to public health. Dr Deborah Gleeson told Fairfax Media:

"If we ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership transnational corporations based in the United States will gain an avenue to sue Australia. There's an exclusion for tobacco control measures, but no solid exclusion for other health measures."

Read the full article here.

US seeks more in TPP on medicine monopolies at APEC meeting

Media Release, 16 May 2016“The US government is making a desperate attempt to placate domestic US corporate and Republican opposition to the TPP implementing legislation by demanding stronger monopolies for pharmaceutical companies and other concessions at a meeting of TPP ministers to be held this week on the sidelines of the APEC Trade Ministers meeting in Peru,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

Download the full media release here