INDEPENDENT NEWS

PACER-Plus trade deal without PNG and Fiji a bad deal

Published: Fri 21 Apr 2017 09:09 AM
PACER-Plus trade deal without PNG and Fiji a bad deal
AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today that Australia should not proceed with the PACER-Plus trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and only 12 of the original 14 Pacific Island countries. The deal was finalised in Brisbane today, and may be formally signed in June.
Dr Ranald said the two largest economies, Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have both refused to endorse the final text, saying it did not recognise their need to develop their infant industries. Without them, PACER-Plus has failed as a regional agreement.
“PNG and Fiji’s rejection shows that the agreement is heavily skewed towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand - despite early rhetoric that the agreement was about development needs,” said Dr Ranald.
The negotiations have been conducted in secret but leaked documents revealed many issues of concern to Pacific Island civil society groups. These are detailed in a recent report by the Pacific Network on Globalisation: Defending Pacific ways of life: A People’s Social Impact Assessment of PACER-Plus”.
Dr Ranald said that the smaller economies in the Pacific have less negotiating power than Fiji and PNG, and that the Australian and New Zealand governments should not be pressuring vulnerable economies into a deal which does not benefit them.
Pacific Island countries already have tariff-free access for their goods in Australia, so they get no extra market access. The main purpose of PACER-Plus is to reduce tariffs on Pacific Island imports from Australia and New Zealand and to reduce the ability of governments to regulate foreign investment in services and other sectors.
“Tariff reductions would lead to significant revenue losses for smaller Pacific Island countries, which could impact on the ability of these governments to provide essential services to their populations,” said Dr Ranald.
“Trade-in-services rules could also create pressure for privatisation and reduce the ability of governments to regulate to provide equitable access to essential services for vulnerable populations.
“Pacific Island governments should not be pressured to sign an agreement that is not in the interests of their peoples”.

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Voluntary Suspension of Fuji Xerox NZ from AoG Contracts
By: New Zealand Government
Investigation underway into Mycoplasma bovis infection
By: Ministry For Primary Industries
Focus moves to recovery as clean-up from floods begins
By: New Zealand Government
Land regulation drives Auckland house prices
By: New Zealand Government
Govt embraces targeted rates to spur urban infrastructure
By: BusinessDesk
Fuji Decision to Temporarily Suspend New Sales & Marketing
By: Fuji Xerox
Winter storm delivers wettest day on record
By: NIWA
Local ratepayers need central government action on climate
By: Green Party
LGNZ election manifesto offers policy solutions
By: Local Government NZ
Cleaning up After a Flood
By: Canterbury DHB
Important to still drive with caution as roads reopen
By: New Zealand Police
SH 25A Unlikely to Reopen until Thursday Following Slip
By: New Zealand Police
New slip on Manawatu Gorge
By: NZTA
Christchurch State of Emergency lifted
By: Christchurch City Council
Christchurch Civil Defence Update - 10.15am 25 July
By: Christchurch City Council
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media