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

TPP 11 Sydney meeting outcome vindicates community concerns

Media Release  September 1, 2017:  “Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s call for minimal changes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership text appears to have been rejected by the other TPP 11 negotiators who met in Sydney this week. Instead the 11 governments* have agreed to suspend controversial clauses on medicine monopolies and some governments want to renegotiate other clauses. This vindicates community concerns that that many TPP clauses are not in the public interest,” AFTINET convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.. 

Community and international health groups protest TPP revival at Sydney meeting

Media Release August 28, 2017: Community groups will rally today outside a meeting of trade negotiators from 11 of the original 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries* who are discussing whether the TPP can be revived without the US, and how much the text should be changed. 

“Trade Minister Ciobo should not be supporting revival of the dead TPP without change when there is strong community opposition and the Australian Parliament has not endorsed it,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET). 

Public health and other community organisations from most TPP countries have also written to all TPP ministers warning that TPP provisions would have serious consequences for the health of the people in TPP countries.

Health organisations oppose TPP revival

August 24, 2017: Public health and other community organisations from most TPP countries have written to all TPP ministers warning that TPP provisions would have serious consequences for the health of the people in countries, the availability of affordable medicines, the ability of foreign corporations to sue governments over health protection laws, and the processes for approving pharmaceuticals for subsidies.

The open letter has been signed by prominent international and national health bodies, including the World Federation of Public Health Associations and the Public Health Association of Australia. The letter advises the ministers that “the only truly acceptable approach to ensure adequate and effective protection of health and access to affordable medicines in all TPP11 countries is to renegotiate the whole TPP”.

Health, consumer and patient groups who have signed include Médecins Sans Frontières, HIV/AIDs groups from Vietnam and Malaysia, the Latin American Alliance for access to medicines, and medical workers associations, consumers and unions from Australia, Japan and many other TPP11 countries. 

Send the Trade Minister a message: Don't revive the zombie TPP!

The 11 remaining countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are continuing to meet in an effort to revive this failed agreement. They missed their deadline of November 11 2017, and the talks were only salvaged by an agreement to rename the deal, suspend some of its most controversial clauses and to have further talks over several months on issues raised by Canada and other governments. 

Send a message to the Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo telling him not to revive the zombie TPP!

Even the Productivity Commission slams Australian trade policy, Crikey reports

August 23, 2017: Bernard Keane in Crikey has summarised a recent Productivity Commission report that strongly criticises the Australian government’s approach to free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The report condemned Australia’s refusal to independently evaluate the supposed benefits of the TPP, its willingness to include investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and the secret nature of the negotiations.

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