Revised TPP-11 text is largely unchanged: independent assessment and Senate Inquiry needed

Media release, February 21 2018: “The new text of the revised and rebranded Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership between Australia and 10 other countries without the US contains minor additional change since last November. Some other governments have demanded further changes, but the Australian government has not,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener said today.

“The additional published text is only nine pages, with some changes from Canada to the non-binding preamble that mention cultural identity, indigenous rights and gender equity, but these are aspirational only, and will not affect the legally binding provisions in the rest of the agreement. There are also the 20 clauses which were suspended in November 2017 pending the US rejoining the deal.”

Public forum on CPTPP: speakers say women will lose from more corporate rights, less 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).

But women’s groups around the world have condemned the deal, arguing it will reinforce gender inequality. The CPTPP gives special rights to foreign investors to sue governments, entrenches stronger monopolies on medicines, restricts the regulation of essential services and will lead to increased numbers of vulnerable temporary migrant workers. 

Rebranded TPP 11 deal: a mess of side deals with no detail, but ISDS and temporary migrant workers remain

Media release, 24 January 2018: “The rebranded TPP 11 outcome announced today appears to be a mess of separate deals cobbled together to meet issues raised by Canada and others, which Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has described as “18 free trade agreements” for Australia.

As usual, the government has released only positive information about possible market access gains from the deal, but the full text of the changes is not available for public scrutiny. The full text will only be released in March at the time of the signing of the deal,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener said today

Rebadged TPP tabled in Parliament: Senate inquiry can assess if implementing legislation should be blocked

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.

“The CPTPP is being tabled  today in Parliament and will be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, on which the government has a majority, to consider the implementing legislation. This is virtually a rubber stamp process because, in addition to public submissions, the committee receives a major report from the Department that negotiated the agreement, which always says yes to the implementing legislation,” said Dr Ranald.

Community groups say no to TPP-11 at Farrer Place, Sydney, 12.30 pm

Media release, Friday June 15, 2018:
 
Unions, aid and development groups, health, environment and other activists are protesting at Farrer Place today outside the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties public hearing on the controversial TPP-11 trade deal being held at 1 Bligh St Sydney.
 
This inquiry and a Senate Inquiry will report on the deal before Parliament considers the implementing legislation in September. The government lacks a majority in the Senate and these groups are calling on the ALP, Greens, Centre Alliance and other cross-benchers to block the implementing legislation.
 

EU-Australia trade talks quietly dump foreign investor rights to sue governments

Media Release, May 23, 2018: “ We welcome the fact that the EU mandate for the EU Australia FTA talks has dumped the controversial  rights for foreign investors to  sue governments in international tribunals, known as ISDS, because European courts have found that  ISDS cases have undermined democratic regulation. ISDS is so unpopular that the EU fears that its inclusion may lead to rejection of trade agreements by EU national parliaments,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“But both governments have failed to mention this in the publicity about the agreement. The Turnbull government is still ignoring the evidence against ISDS and supporting it in the TPP-11 and other agreements. They do not want Australians to know that other trading partners are rejecting ISDS,” she added.

Government should reject Trump’s threat to affordable medicines through TPP and other trade deals

Media Release, May 14, 2018: “US President Donald Trump’s policy to end “freeloading” and force trading partners to increase prices they pay for US pharmaceutical exports is a direct threat to Australia’s policy of ensuring affordable medicines through our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Pacific Island trade deal diminished without PNG and Fiji and could cause harm, says report

Media Release, May 9, 2018: “The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report on the PACER Plus trade deal between Australia New Zealand and nine Pacific Island countries admits that the absence of Papua New Guinea and Fiji ‘significantly diminishes’ the value of the deal,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. “It also acknowledges many of the issues raised by community organisations that could have harmful impacts in vulnerable Pacific Island economies.”

Pacific Island economies already have tariff free access for their exports to Australia, so the main impact of PACER Plus is to reduce tariffs and improve access for Australian and New Zealand exports and investment.

TPP-11: Government attempt to cut short inquiries would prevent democratic scrutiny, says AFTINET

Media release April 4, 2018: AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald today called on the government not to cut short parliamentary inquiries which are intended to scrutinise the revised TPP-11 (renamed the Progressive Comprehensive TPP) before Parliament votes on the implementing legislation.

Dr Ranald explained that last week the government tabled the TPP-11 text in Parliament and initiated a review by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) on which the government has a majority, before Parliament votes on the implementing legislation. The JSCOT has called for submissions by Friday April 20.

Trump backflip on the TPP exposes its problems: full parliamentary scrutiny needed

Media Release, April 13, 2018: "US President Trump’s announcement that he will renegotiate what is now the TPP-11 exposes the dodgy nature of the deal. The remaining 11 countries reached agreement on the basis that bad provisions sponsored by the US are identified as unacceptable but are only suspended and remain in the deal, and could be reactivated if the US re-joined,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“The suspended clauses include longer monopoly rights on medicines which would delay the availability of affordable medicines and stronger copyright monopolies that would increase the rights of copyright holders at the expense of consumers.

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