US supports suspension of COVID-19 vaccine patents, so should Australia

Media Release, May 6, 2021   “We welcome today’s announcement by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai that the US now supports waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convenor..

“We also welcome the subsequent statement of support from the New Zealand Trade Minister,” said Dr Ranald. “It is now time for the Morrison government to do the same”.

“This is a major breakthrough, driven by determined civil society campaigning in the USA and globally, and should result in temporary changes to World Trade Organisation rules as soon as possible,” said Dr Ranald.

Australian WTO vaccine proposal not enough to speed up access for low income countries

March 11, 2021:The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTIINET) today criticised a World Trade Organisation communication co-sponsored by Australia and only six other countries as an alternative to the proposal by South Africa and India to temporarily waive intellectual property rights to enable more equitable global access to COVID vaccines.

The South African proposal is supported by 100 developing countries in the WTO, and addresses the fact that under current WTO rules, more than 85 developing countries will not have widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines before 2023.

JSCOT Committee report on RCEP acknowledges deep flaws, but supports implementation

Media Release                          September 1, 2021

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has released its Report 196 on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and the 10 ASEAN countries including Myanmar and the Philippines.

RCEP trade deal: Organisations representing millions urge Labor and cross-benchers to delay vote and support changes

August 20, 2021 Media Release

“Thirteen national organisations representing millions of Australians have written letters to Labor and cross-bench parliamentarians arguing that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal fails the human rights test and should be changed before the parliament votes on the implementing legislation,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convenor, said today.

Publication of Australia-UK FTA Agreement in Principle and exclusion of ISDS welcome, but still much we don’t know

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                            

June 18, 2021

“We welcome the fact that the Australian and UK governments have responded to community concerns about secrecy and yesterday published the Agreement in-Principle (AIP) for the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convenor, said today.

Final UK FTA talks on corporate rights to sue governments alarm community groups

MEDIA RELEASE, May 31, 2021

“The British Trade Minister has confirmed that corporate rights to sue governments are being discussed in the final negotiations for the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement before an announcement at the G7 meeting in the UK on June 11-13. This is unacceptable and will fuel community opposition to the deal in both Australia and the UK,“ Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network said today.

As reported in the Guardian UK Trade Minister Greg Hands said: “It is a live negotiation. There will be a chapter on investment. We are huge investors in each other’s markets. I would remind the House that the UK has never lost an ISDS case.”

Subscribe to