The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):

Corporate Rights vs Peoples’ Rights

www.aftinet.org.au
What is the TPP?
• A legally binding trade agreement
• Being negotiated now between Australia, the US, Canada, Mexico,
Per...
Map of TPP negotiating countries:
Rights for foreign investors to sue
governments over health and environment
laws
• This is known as investor-state dispute...
ISDS threatens democracy and
sovereignty
• Australia’s tobacco plain packaging law was passed by our
Parliament, and our H...
Higher prices for
medicines
• Longer patents on medicines would mean higher
prices for longer and delays in cheaper generi...
Race to the bottom on workers’ rights
and environmental protection
• Competition for investment can lead
to a race to the ...
Internet freedom under threat
• Copyright laws could be extended from 70 years to 90 or more years after
the author’s deat...
Threats to sustainable, healthy food
• The TPP could restrict mandatory
labelling on food, including GE
food, alcohol
• In...
Reduced Australian content in media
• Australia has laws for minimum levels of Australian content in film,
television and ...
Local and international resistance to the TPP

• Negotiations have dragged on for four years because community
groups have...
The Australian Fair Trade and
Investment Network (AFTINET)
• AFTINET is a network of 60 community organisations and many i...
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TPP Slideshow: Corporate Power vs Peoples' Rights

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TPP Slideshow: Corporate Power vs Peoples' Rights

  1. 1. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Corporate Rights vs Peoples’ Rights www.aftinet.org.au
  2. 2. What is the TPP? • A legally binding trade agreement • Being negotiated now between Australia, the US, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand • The US is driving the agenda to suit its most powerful industries and corporations: pharmaceuticals, media, information technology • The TPP contains 29 chapters, and most of these are not actually about trade, but about changing Australian laws and policies to suit US interests • Negotiations are secret
  3. 3. Map of TPP negotiating countries:
  4. 4. Rights for foreign investors to sue governments over health and environment laws • This is known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS • ISDS allows foreign investors to sue governments for millions of dollars if their investments are ‘harmed’ by a law or policy, even if that law or policy is designed to protect public health or the environment • The previous ALP Government had a policy against ISDS because of risks and costs to government • The Howard Coalition government did not agree to ISDS in the 2004 US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, but the current Coalition government is prepared to agree to it in the TPP
  5. 5. ISDS threatens democracy and sovereignty • Australia’s tobacco plain packaging law was passed by our Parliament, and our High Court found that tobacco companies were not entitled to compensation • The US Philip Morris tobacco company is undermining our Parliament and High Court by using ISDS to sue Australia for millions in damages under an obscure 1994 HongKong investment treaty • A US energy company is suing the Canadian provincial government of Quebec for $250 million because it suspended shale gas mining pending an environmental study • ISDS could threaten the regulation of coal seam gas mining in Australia
  6. 6. Higher prices for medicines • Longer patents on medicines would mean higher prices for longer and delays in cheaper generic medicines being available • The TPP would restrict governments’ ability to make medicines affordable through schemes like Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) • The PBS regulates the prices of many medicines in Australia, so pensioners pay no more than $6.00 and others not more than $36.90 • TPP proposals to weaken the PBS would mean higher costs for both government and consumers
  7. 7. Race to the bottom on workers’ rights and environmental protection • Competition for investment can lead to a race to the bottom on workers’ rights and the environment unless effective standards are in place. • Leaked documents show the TPP contains only weak environmental standards which are not enforceable • There is still no agreement for enforceable workers’ rights In April 2013, Bangladeshi clothing factory workers left an unsafe building but were ordered back to work. The building then collapsed, killing 1200 people.
  8. 8. Internet freedom under threat • Copyright laws could be extended from 70 years to 90 or more years after the author’s death, meaning higher costs for schools, universities and libraries • Restricted access and higher costs for downloading temporary copies on the internet • Criminal penalties for internet users without safeguards for legitimate use
  9. 9. Threats to sustainable, healthy food • The TPP could restrict mandatory labelling on food, including GE food, alcohol • Investors could challenge new legislation designed to protect our food security or public health • The TPP will restrict governments’ ability to give preference to sustainably and locally grown foods for public programs
  10. 10. Reduced Australian content in media • Australia has laws for minimum levels of Australian content in film, television and other media to ensure Australian stories are told • Without these laws, there would be little Australian content because it is cheaper to import content from the US • US media companies see these laws as a barrier to trade and want to reduce or abolish them • This threatens our ability to preserve and develop our culture
  11. 11. Local and international resistance to the TPP • Negotiations have dragged on for four years because community groups have pressured governments to resist US demands • Watch this video featuring Australian senators, activists and experts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YErB uJBd6FI (8 min)
  12. 12. The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) • AFTINET is a network of 60 community organisations and many individuals campaigning in Australia for fair trade based on human rights, labour rights and environmental sustainability • We link up and coordinate with similar groups in other TPP countries • End the secrecy, release the text and a fair deal or no deal in the TPP • To take action see our website: www.aftinet.org.au

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