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Leaders ignore calls for fairer trade deals

March 16, 2017

Leaders ignore calls for fairer trade deals and praise flawed TPP

Representatives from all TPP countries except the US missed an opportunity to strive for fairer trade deals when they praised the dead TPP in a statement following a meeting today in Viña del Mar, Chile. The meeting was held on the sidelines of a broader meeting on Integration Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region including non-TPP countries China, Korea and the US.

AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said it was disappointing that the 11 remaining TPP countries had failed to learn the lesson after the death of the TPP.

“The TPP failed because it was an unfair deal. It put corporate rights ahead of people’s rights by extending monopolies on medicines and empowering corporations to bypass national courts and sue governments in unfair international tribunals,” said Dr Ranald.

“This corporate agenda has been rejected by citizens around the world and continuing to pursue it in another form won’t work.”

Ahead of the meeting in Chile, 200 organisations from 15 countries urged trade ministers not to use the failed TPP as a model for future agreements. Forty-four diverse Australian organisations, together representing around two million people, endorsed the letter.

Dr Ranald said civil society organisations in Australia and around the world would continue to oppose the flawed TPP agenda which allowed corporations to sue governments (ISDS), threatened access to medicines and failed to have enforceable protections for labour rights and the environment.

“We’re not opposed to trade – we’re opposed to unfair trade deals like the TPP,” Dr Ranald said.

“Governments should strive for open, transparent negotiations towards trade deals that improve peoples’ lives and enhance rather than weaken human rights like access to medicines.”

Representatives from the 11 countries have agreed to meet on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Vietnam on 20-21 May to discuss a way forward post-TPP.


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