Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)  is a massive free trade agreement involving Australia and ten other Pacific Rim countries, which reduces our democratic rights while increasing the rights of global corporations. The TPP is bad for:

  • Democracy. It allows global corporations to sue governments over health, environment and public interest laws. Read more.
  • Workers. Contains no real protection for labour rights or migrant workers, and removes labour market testing for temporary migrant workers. Read more.
  • Essential services:  locks in deregulation, promotes privatisation and prevents future governments from regulating in the public interest, 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.
  • Internet users. Locks in strong rights for copyright holders at the expense of consumers and internet users. Read more.

After six years of community campaigning, the withdrawal of the US in January 2017 meant the original TPP-12 could not proceed, but the 11 remaining governments suspended some clauses and rebadged it as the Comprenensive Progressive TPP or  TPP-11, which was signed in March 2018 and approved for ratification by the Australian Parliament in October 2018,   If six of the eleven countries ratify it before the end of 2018, it will come into force for those countries in 2019.

For in-depth analysis and resources, including AFTINET’s submissions to parliamentary inquiries, click here. 

Updated October  2018

Australian High Court rules against big tobacco on plain packaging

AFTINET welcomes the High Court decision against big tobacco's challenge to plain packaging legislation as a vindication of the Government’s right to regulate tobacco as an addictive substance that still kills 15,000 Australians per year.

But the government still faces two more legal challenges from big tobacco, which is desperate to stop Australia setting an example by implementing the plain packaging recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

The Philip Morris tobacco company is currently suing the Australian government over its tobacco plain packaging legislation, using an obscure 1993 Hong Kong- Australia investment treaty despite being a US-based company. Big tobacco is also reportedly providing legal advice and funding to the Ukraine and Honduras Governments which have launched a complaint in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on the grounds that the Australian legislation is contrary to a WTO intellectual property agreement.

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