March 26, 2018: Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network. called today for a Senate Inquiry to assess whether the rebadged Comprehensive Progressive TPP is in the public interest, before Parliament considers the implementing legislation.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
March 26, 2018: US trade policy has become more dangerously unilateral and contradictory.
US President Trump threatened on March 23 to impose tariffs on US$60 billion of Chinese exports to the US after a “consultation” period. This is also linked to US strategic and military competition with China. China has threatened to retaliate with its own tariffs on US goods, resulting in a trade war and economic instability. Global stock markets plunged in response to the news.
March 22, 2018: In her speech to the National Press Club yesterday, ACTU secretary Sally McManus argued that unfair trade agreements like the CPTPP were contributing to casualisation and underpayment of wages, and that major changes were needed to the industrial relations system.
She said "these trade agreements are not free, they are a complex set of rules negotiated by governments, pushed by big corporations."
March 19, 2018: Jim Stanford from the Australia Institute writes in The Guardian that Trump’s unilateral and xenophobic approach to trade policy is dangerous and could lead to trade conflict. He argues we need an alternative to both Trump’s unilateralism and to corporate-dominated trade deals like the TPP.
15 March, 2018: On International Women’s Day AFTINET and ActionAid Australia hosted a successful forum on the impact that the TPP would have on women across the globe. The forum was moderated by Jill Biddington from APHEDA- Union Aid Abroad and Dr Patricia Ranald (AFTINET), Michelle Higelin (ActionAid Australia) and Jane Brock (Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association) all gave short presentations. A video recording of the full forum has been posted here, thanks to ActionAid Australia.
March 12, 2018: The Comprehensive Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership – even without the US – is still about maximising corporate rights and minimising government regulation in the public interest. Despite the suspension of 22 clauses, foreign corporations will still have the right to bypass national courts and sue governments if they can claim that a change in law or policy harms their investment. And there are still 30 other chapters that mostly restrict future democratic regulation.
Media release, 8 March 2018: Today in Chile on International Women’s Day, Australia and 10 other countries will sign a revised version of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, rebranded as the 'Comprehensive Progressive' TPP (CPTPP).
March 5, 2018: The inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the rebranded ‘Comprehensive Progressive’ Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), set for signing on March 8 in Chile, puts Australia’s democracy and sovereignty at risk.
March 1, 2018: The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has published new analysis about labour mobility under the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is summarised in a Sydney Morning Herald article. They say Australia has done less than other partner countries to protect local jobs in the CPTPP.
22 February, 2018: Yesterday the New Zealand government published the full text of the ‘Comprehensive Progressive’ Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement, which Australia and 10 other countries intend to sign on March 8 in Chile, along with a National Interest Analysis of the deal.