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

 


TPP: Brunei Sharia Law scandal and failed bilateral meetings

Brunei Sharia Law scandal and failed bilateral meetings haunt secret Trans-Pacific talks in Ottawa

July 2, 2014

“As trade officials begin yet another round of secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) trade talks in Ottawa on July 3, the United Nations and human rights groups ask why Australia and other countries continue to negotiate with Brunei as it introduces harsh Sharia laws which violate human rights,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) said today.

“The first phase of the new Brunei law imposes fines and jail terms for offences like pregnancy outside of marriage. Future phases will punish crimes such as alcohol consumption or theft with whipping and amputations, and the final phase will impose the death penalty, including by stoning, for adultery and sodomy. Australia should not be negotiating preferential trade access with governments which violate human rights,” said Dr Ranald.

“This is yet another obstacle in TPP talks between The US, Japan, Australia and nine other Pacific Rim countries which have dragged into their fifth year.

There is still no agreement to US demands for changes to domestic laws on access to medicines, copyright, food labelling and other issues which suit the interests of US corporations, but would prevent governments from regulating in the public interest. US corporations also want special rights for foreign investors to sue governments in international tribunals if domestic laws or policies can be claimed to ‘harm’ their investment,” said Dr Ranald.

“The two major players, the US and Japan, have still not agreed about the traditional trade issues of increased access to each other’s agricultural and vehicle markets, and have not made any market access offers to other governments. A procession of recent leaders’ visits to Washington, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Chile have failed to resolve these deadlocks,” explained Dr Ranald.

“US community opposition to the TPP has prevented the Congress from even introducing the ‘fast track’ legislation which would remove the constitutional power of Congress to amend any TPP deal. The US cannot deliver on any deal until this legislation is passed. Neither major party wants the TPP to become an issue in the November Congressional elections. The new deadline appears to be the APEC Leaders’ meeting in November,” said Dr Ranald.

“Canadian civil society groups say the Ottawa talks, only announced last week, mark a new low point for transparency in the TPP negotiations. It is increasingly clear that the TPP is not in Australia’s interest. We call on the Abbott Government to reject unacceptable proposals and to release the text of the TPP for full public and parliamentary debate before any decision to endorse it is made by Cabinet”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news