US Trade justice campaigners press IPEF talks on labour rights, environment, digital

May 23, 2023: A coalition of US trade justice organisations rallied in Detroit on May 20 during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) talks there, to highlight the Ministerial Meeting for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) set for May 27. They posed the rights of workers and the planet against corporate priority for profits in IPEF.

The morning was dedicated to workshops on trade agreements and the fight for global justice, APEC and Southeast Asia, what Big Tech wants the world to look like, the struggle for human rights in the Philippines, food justice, and trade deals and global climate justice. The afternoon was a march for jobs and justice through downtown Detroit to the APEC Ministerial at Hart Plaza.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

APEC is a regional forum involving 21 countries on the ASIA Pacific rim. They are the US, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia , Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia , New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Unlike other regional trade arrangements and the World Trade Organisation, APEC does not make legally binding decisions or agreements. Government leaders come to APEC as leaders of ‘economies' not elected leaders of governments. This means that political accountability is effectively side-stepped. APEC voluntary commitments bypass parliamentary ratification and there are no formal channels for engagement with civil society. Social and environmental impacts of trade policies are not considered.

Asia Pacific People for Environment and Community

The Asia Pacific People for Environment and Community (APPEC) event was held on August 31 and September 1 2007. APPEC was a chance for all members of the community to gather and share our experiences, struggles, and strengths and work towards creating an alternative to the neo-liberal, free trade agenda that was on the table at the APEC meeting.

The event was a great success and involved a wide range of community members. To hear recordings or read transcripts of some events see our APPEC Speeches page.

For more information on APEC's agenda see our leaflet:

APPEC Leaflet Cover

APPEC Leaflet Centre

TPP: Experts expose devils in detail at Sydney forum today 1pm

Media Release November 18, 2015 As TPP leaders meet on the fringes of the APEC conference in Manila to praise the deal, experts on investor rights, medicines and copyright will expose the devils in the detail of the TPP. Speakers from Doctors without Borders (MSF), AFTINET and Sydney University will speak at a public forum at 1-2.30pm today in the Jubilee Room at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney. Read full release here.

TPP death result of six years of community campaigns

Media Release November 13, 2016: The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network welcomes reports that the Obama administration has abandoned attempts to push the TPP through the current lame duck Congress, the Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“The Trump election victory may have dealt the final blow but fair trade groups have campaigned since 2010 against the TPP corporate agenda, in Australia, the US and other TPP countries. The TPP gave more rights to global corporations but made it harder for governments to regulate them in the public interest.

Don’t repeat the failures of the TPP in other agreements

Media Release, November 22, 2016: The failed TPP should not be used as a model for the future trade agreements, a diverse network of community organisations has warned.

The warning comes after leaders discussed future trade deals at the APEC summit in Peru this weekend, including the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)*, which includes China but not the US, and a more long-term proposal for a future Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). 

AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said the TPP’s death should teach us some key lessons about future trade policy.

“Donald Trump didn’t kill the TPP. His opposition was only the final blow which came at the end of more than six years of criticism from public health, environment, church, union and other community organisations,” said Dr Ranald.

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