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

 


G20 Beware: Trade Deals Threaten Health Care and Environment

WARNING: Trade deals threaten health care and the environment

Jul 19, 2014

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) and the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network Ltd (AFTINET) have called on the Federal Government to heed warnings over secret global trade deals, in particular, negotiations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

As G20 Trade Ministers met in Sydney, ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane in November, representatives of the NSWNMA and AFTINET took to the streets on Saturday to highlight their concerns.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said it was clear the TPP agreement was not primarily about trade in goods and such an agreement could threaten the provision of essential public services in Australia, including public health.

“Our government has been negotiating a trade deal amongst the 12 Pacific Rim countries for several years, but it is becoming more apparent that the TPP negotiations are less about free trade and more about setting the agenda for multi-national corporations,” Mr Holmes said.

“It is bad enough these negotiations are happening behind closed doors with no community input but what is more alarming is the agenda of global corporations who want changes to our domestic laws to suit their own interests, regardless of the impact it may have on the health of Australians.”

AFTINET Convener, Dr Patricia Ranald, said that limited public information and leaked documents confirmed an agenda was being driven by the United States trade negotiators to benefit global corporations. The underlying agenda had the potential to result in:
• higher prices for medicines, by attacking Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme;
• less Australian content on TV;
• limited workers’ rights;
• restricted environmental laws; and
• the ability to sue Australian governments if domestic laws impede corporate investments.

“The Australian Government should resist US demands for changes to Australian laws on access to medicines, Australian media content and other issues which suit the interests of US corporations, but would prevent governments from legislating to protect the public interest,” Dr Ranald said.

“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. In contrast to these extra rights for corporations, there is no agreement about including enforceable workers’ rights and environmental standards in the agreement.”

During an interactive street theatre performance at Circular Quay, the NSWNMA and AFTINET called on community members to lobby federal Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, and urge him to oppose the corporate agenda of the TPP and to release the text for public and Parliamentary debate before any decision to sign it.

The unions and community groups indicated they would continue efforts to put pressure on the Federal Government to promote fair trade over the TPP negotiations, in the lead up to the G20 Leaders’ Summit later in the year.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

One Year On: WWF Fails To Act Against Abuse Of ‘Pygmies'

Baka 'Pygmies' have faced harassment, beatings and torture by anti-poaching squads supported and funded by WWF. Conservation giant World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has failed to take action against the abuse of Baka “Pygmies” and their neighbors ... More>>

Cyclone Pam Evacuation Centers Home To New-Born

UNFPA Pacific, Port Vila, Vanuatu (March 25, 2015) - As her family settled into one of the classrooms at Freswota Primary School in Cyclone Pam-stricken Port Vila, in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Meri Yalu was more troubled by an impending ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news