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

 


TPP not in Austrailia's Interest say Community Organisations

May 19, 2014

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) not in Australia’s interest, say community organisations

As TPP Trade Ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries meet in Singapore, fair trade, public health, environment, church, unions and other community groups have endorsed a letter to Trade Minister Andrew Robb. The letter calls on the Minister to reject harmful proposals in the TPP, which should not be agreed in secret negotiations.

The letter was signed by 46 diverse groups, representing millions of Australians, and expresses strong opposition to proposals in the TPP which would undermine public health, allow foreign companies to sue Australian governments, erode workers’ rights and environmental protections, increase copyright leading to higher costs, restrict internet use and reduce Australian content in media.

Dr Deborah Gleeson, spokesperson for the Public Health Association, said that the cost of the TPP to public health could outweigh any trade benefits for Australia. “Extensions on patents for medicines would cause higher prices for new medicines for longer. Proposals seeking to restrict government regulation of medicine prices would undermine our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This would increase costs for governments and consumers,” said Dr Gleeson.

“Australia’s health care system is already under attack through changes to Medicare and medicine levies in the Federal Budget,” added Brett Holmes from the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association. “The TPP clearly puts the profits of multi-national pharmaceutical companies ahead of Australians’ health care needs and is yet another attack on our right to universal health care”.

The TPP would lead to more cases like the Philip Morris tobacco company’s attempt to sue the Australian government for millions of dollars in an international tribunal over our plain packaging legislation.

“A US mining company is currently suing the Québec government for the over regulation of gas mining. If the TPP is signed foreign investors would have these same special rights to sue Australia’s state governments if they claim that a domestic law or policy ‘harms’ their investment. This means NSW or Queensland or Victorian governments could be sued if they responded to community pressure for environmental regulation of coal seam gas mining. The TPP threatens both our democracy and sovereignty in its power to usurp the laws of our country,” said Isabel McIntosh from the Lock the Gate Alliance.

Andrew Dettmer, National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said, “Despite promises, there is as yet no agreement that the TPP will contain enforceable commitments on labour rights to ensure that increased competition does not reduce working conditions. This is unacceptable.”

“The negotiations have now entered their fifth year. This shows that many governments believe that these proposals are not in their national interest. We call on the government to reject these proposals and to release the text of the TPP for public and parliamentary debate before any decision to endorse it is made by Cabinet,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>



Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>

MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news