World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Australia should resist US bullying at TPP trade talks

November 25, 2013

Australia should resist US bullying on medicines and investor rights to sue at secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) trade talks in Salt Lake City

“As revealed by leaked documents two weeks ago, the US is still pushing for stronger patent rights and higher prices for medicines as secret talks continue this week in Salt Lake City,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade Network (AFTINET) said today. “This is not a negotiation. The US is dictating the terms and it seems the Australian Government is not prepared to join other governments which are resisting these demands”.

“Australian Trade officials have also revealed in Senate Estimates hearings that the Australian Government is prepared to agree to include in the TPP the right of foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals if they can allege that a law or policy harms their investment. This would mean more cases like the one taken by the Philip Morris Tobacco Company which is currently suing the Australian government for millions of dollars in damages over the tobacco plain packaging legislation. More cases like this would undermine Australia’s democracy and sovereignty,” said Dr Ranald.

“The US is stepping up the pressure as negotiations move towards the US-imposed deadline of the TPP ministerial meeting in Singapore on 7-10 December. This deadline is designed to get the TPP into the US Congress before campaigning begins for the mid-term Congressional elections. But there is little chance that Congress will grant the Trade Promotion Authority needed for Congress to have a yes/no vote without amending the agreement. In the House of Representatives, 151 Democrats and 22 Republicans have already said they will not vote for Trade Promotion Authority,” said Dr Ranald.

“So the US is dictating the terms of an agreement which they cannot guarantee will get through their own Congress. President Obama was not even able to attend APEC and TPP meetings last month in Bali because the Congress shut his government down. It would be foolish of the Australian Government to bow to bullying and make concessions for a deal which is likely to unravel in the unpredictable politics of the US Congress,” said Dr Ranald.

“We call on the Australian Government to reject US demands for stronger patents and higher prices on medicines and for the right of foreign investors to sue governments for damages in international tribunals. We also call for an end to the secrecy and for the full text of the agreement to be released for public and parliamentary discussion before it is signed by Cabinet,” said Dr Ranald.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


"Systematic Murder": Complaint Filed To ICC Over Gaza Killings

Scoop's Alastair Thompson reports: Over the past four years Kiwi journalist, investigator and human rights activist Julie Webb Pullman has trained and coordinated funding to assemble teams to collect evidence, interview witnesses and properly document thousands of individual war crimes committed in the period since Operation Protective Edge (2014). More>>

Trump On Drugs: Threat To Affordable Medicines Through Trade Deals

“US President Donald Trump’s policy to end “freeloading” and force trading partners to increase prices they pay for US pharmaceutical exports is a direct threat to Australia’s policy of ensuring affordable medicines through our Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme...” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Nine Trump Lies About The Iran Deal

The cascade of Orwellian lies that US President Donald Trump has used to rationalize why his country is reneging on the commitments it made under the Iran nuclear deal should be posing a genuine problem for our media. More>>


Colombia’s Elections: Assassinations, Presidential Death Squads, Fraud And A Fragile Peace Process Under Threat

Scoop's Joseph Cederwall reports: Next week Colombia, goes to the polls in one of the most pivotal and closely fought elections in decades. This election will now take place under the watch of EU monitors as an escalating fraud scandal develops surrounding the recent congressional elections. The two frontrunners are starkly contrasted, as are the potential outcomes for Colombia and the entire Latin American region. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Hostility Against Journalists & Israel’s Lies About Iran

At last count, 32 working journalists had been killed this year up until April 30, and recent weeks have seen the worst period of sustained violence against journalists since the 2015 Charlie Hebdo killings in France. More>>


Gazan Gandhis: Gaza Bleeds Alone

Three more Palestinians were killed and 611 wounded last Friday, when tens of thousands of Gazans continued their largely non-violent protests at the Gaza-Israel border. More>>