Media Releases

AFTINET tells public hearing that the EU knows more than Australians about our trade talks, and calls for change

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                 Monday August 24, 2020

“It is disgraceful that Europeans know more than Australians about our trade negotiations because the Australian government refuses to release the text of trade agreements until after they are signed,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

630 civil society groups warn of corporate threats to sue governments over actions taken to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic

June 25, 2020, Media Release: “An open letter endorsed by 630 international and national civil society organisations has been sent to Trade Minister Birmingham, warning him that Australia could face a wave of cases from global corporations claiming millions in compensation for actions taken to respond to the pandemic. Corporations can do this using rules in trade deals known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Community groups say revise giant RCEP trade deal to ensure rules do not restrict government action during pandemics

Media release June 18, 2020:  “The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network of 60 community groups has written to Trade Minister Birmingham ahead of a virtual meeting next week about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) calling for a pause in the negotiations and review of the text to ensure that its rules do not restrict government action to save lives during the current and future pandemics,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

 

293 community Groups Call on World Trade Organization to stop other negotiations and focus on access to life-saving medical supplies

Media Release April 20, 2020:  “AFTINET is among 293 organizations, including global and national union federations, development advocates, women’s groups, consumer and environmental groups from more than 150 countries that have endorsed a letter to government members of the WTO.  The letter urges members of the WTO to stop all trade negotiations during the COVID-19 outbreak and refocus on ensuring access to medical supplies and saving lives,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Sovereign Debt for Low Income Countries Must Be Cancelled to Tackle Coronavirus Crisis, Say Australian CSOs

Emergency finance must not add to debt burdens
Process to reduce debts to sustainable level in future also needed

Media Release April 8, 2020: A group of Australian civil society organisations (CSOs) released a statement today calling for the Australian Government to support the cancellation of external debt payments in 2020 for Low Income Countries to help them fight the coronavirus.

Argentina bans community groups from World Trade Organisation Meeting, despite their being approved by the WTO

Media Release, December 1, 2017: In an unprecedented action, the Argentine government has revoked the accreditation of 63 civil society experts ― trade unionists, development advocates, digital rights activists, environmentalists, and others ― just days before the 11th Ministerial meeting of the WTO (MC11) in Buenos Aires, advising the WTO that the experts will not be allowed in the country to participate in the meeting. The majority of the rejected organizations work together through the global Our World Is Not for Sale (OWINFS) network.

Pacific trade deal PACER-Plus is PACER-minus without PNG and Fiji: AFTINET JSCOT submission

Media Release, November 29, 2017: “The PACER-plus trade deal with Pacific Islands tabled in the Senate today has not been signed by Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the two largest Pacific island economies, which together represent over 80% of GDP of the combined island economies, “ AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. “Without the two largest Pacific Island economies, PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and should be called PACER-minus.”

TPP 11 need for further talks show flaws in the deal

Media Release November 11, 2017: “TPP 11 leaders meeting in Da Nang Vietnam have  agreed on some elements of a possible deal without the US, but have not succeeded in their aim of finalising the text. The talks have only been salvaged by an agreement to rename the deal, suspend some of its most controversial clauses and to have further talks over several months on issues raised by Canada and other governments,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

Peru FTA includes investor rights to sue governments, but no text available for independent assessment

Media Release, November 10, 2017: The announcement of the completion of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement at the APEC meeting in Vietnam without access to the text again demonstrates the flaws in the secretive trade agreement process, in which governments announce agreements without making the text public and without independent assessment of the costs and benefits,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

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