PACER-Plus trade deal without PNG and Fiji a bad deal

MEDIA RELEASE, April 20, 2017: AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today that Australia should not proceed with the PACER-Plus trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and only 12 of the original 14 Pacific Island countries. Without the two largest economies, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, PACER-Plus has failed as a regional agreement. Read the full media release here.

PACER Plus: how the Pacific Way is being undermined

24 April 2017: Member of Parliament for the New Zealand Green Party and former director of Oxfam NZ, Barry Cotes, has called for a rethink of the PACER-plus trade agreement finalised in Brisbane last week.

He writes that the agreement has been "shaped more by the advantages to Australia and New Zealand exporters than the aspirations of the Pacific’s people" and argues that there's still time to "rethink" the deal before it is officially signed in June this year.

Read his analysis: 'PACER Plus – how the Pacific Way is being undermined' (21 April 2017)

Read AFTINET's media release: PACER-Plus trade deal without PNG and Fiji a bad idea (20 April 2017)


PACER Plus or PACER minus? AFTINET interview with Dateline Pacific

October 5, 2017: Is PACER Plus agreement a good deal for all parties? And why didn't Fiji and PNG sign it? 

AFTINET recently spoke to Dateline Pacific about the implications of the deal, and whether it is skewed towards Australia and New Zealand’s interests to the detriment of other parties.

"Together they represent about 80% of the combined GDP of Pacific Island economies without Australia and New Zealand. So the reason why they haven't signed it is because they don't think the deal is good for their economies," Patricia Ranald from the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said.

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.

New studies show negative impacts from Pacific Island trade deal (PACER Plus) as Cook Islands delays ratification

5 November 2018: Chatham House has published an article by research fellow Cleo Paskal which argues that PACER Plus mainly benefits Australia and New Zealand, and could damage their relationships in the region. She says that Fiji and PNG, representing 80% of Pacific Island Countries’ combined GDP, have not joined PACER Plus because the increased imports from Australia and New Zealand may threaten their developing industries.  Nine smaller Pacific Islands have been pressured to sign a deal they are reluctant to implement.

PACER-Plus Resources

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations - Plus (PACER-Plus) will have a major impact on Pacific communities as it will influence the economic, social and environmental circumstances they live in. With negotiations set to include services and investment, these impacts will be even further reaching.

Negotiations between the European Union with Pacific Island Countries for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will shape the PACER-Plus negotiations. To find out more about the impacts that PACER-Plus and the EPA negotiations see the reports from AFTINET and others from the Pacific below:

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