Latest News

TPPA Seminar in Melbourne October 15

Trade and Technology: What does the TPPA mean for Australia?

Public discussion of TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and broader trade related issues on topics ranging from (but not limited to): Digital Rights, Cultural Goods and services, eCommerce, IP, Copyright, Privacy, Biotech and GMO's, Health (and PBS), International Dispute settlement, Export/import markets, including impacts on food production and foreign investment.

Places are limited. Event sponsored by Swinburne University. Register here.

Coalition policy gives manufacturing bosses a seat at trade negotiations, not farmers, unions or other groups

An obscure clause buried in the Liberal-National Coalition’s manufacturing policy says they will ‘appoint at least one industry representative who will be directly included in the negotiation of Free Trade Agreements’. The policy is on p.14 of the Coalition Manufacturing policy released last week. As it was not in the Coalition trade policy, AFTINET only became aware of it today, after we had sent out our comparison of parties’ trade policies.

This is an extraordinary and probably unworkable policy for three reasons.

Australian Election: How do the major parties stack up on fair trade?

As the election draws near, The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) has analysed how the trade policies of our major political parties comparein relation to fair trade and free trade.

To compare the parties on key fair trade issues, we examined the policy documents of each party, as well as pre-election statements and publications on nine key issues. They are labour rights, the environment, health care and access to medicines, investor rights to sue governments (ISDS), intellectual property, Australia’s cultural industries, transparency, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Multilateral versus bilateral and regional agreements.

As you can see in our comparison table, Labor and the Greens have positive policies on all of the nine issues, whereas the Liberal National Coalition has a negative policy on Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and no explicit policies on seven of the others.