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The Labor Party has outlined its conditions for approving the TPP as negotiated by the government

The Labor Party has outlined its conditions for approving the TPP as negotiated by the government. “Other provisions Labor has identified as prohibited are those that require the privatization of public services, undermine the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, undermine Australia's anti-dumping laws, limit the ability of the Australian government to regulate in the interests of public welfare or in relation to safe products, undermine mandatory skills testing requirements and place restrictions on government procurement.” Nevertheless, “ACTU president Michele O'Neil called the new conditions, which Mr. Clare outlined in a private member’s bill, as ‘a seismic shift in ALP trade policy. The ACTU maintains its opposition to the TPP and its enabling legislation. The [private member's] bill sets out a new course for trade in our country after years of damaging deals by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government, which put big business profits ahead of working people,’ she said. AMWU national secretary Paul Bastian, whose union was one of the most vocal critics of the TPP, remained disappointed with what he said was Labor's betrayal of workers. ‘However, we acknowledge that workers raised concerns and Bill Shorten listened. Now it’s time for [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison to do the same.’”

“A discredited means of financing major projects”

The New Zealand Herald criticizes the government for choosing a ‘public private partnership’ model (“a discredited means of financing major projects”) to build Penlink, a proposed alternative route between the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and State Highway 1 at Redvale. “These are inevitably more expensive and often fail. Governments and local authorities sometimes see these as useful because the debts do not appear on their balance sheets. They will also be subject to the requirements of the TPPA and the General Agreement on Trade in Services, (GATS) allowing international corporations to force their way to gaining such contracts. More importantly they are seen to be a form of privatization. The fears and concerns are heightened because PPPs are normally focused on large publicly owned infrastructure, and it is the public who stand to lose control of vital assets, or eventually, the effective ownership of the assets.”

Source: www.pressreader.com

The fight against privatization was part of the successful struggle for a new constitution for the federal capital

Interviewed by PSI, SUTGDF president Juan Ayala Ribero says the fight against privatization was part of the successful struggle for a new constitution for the federal capital. “We also managed to include clauses excluding any form of privatization of public services, which the constitution recognizes to belong to the citizens. So we have excluded any participation by private capital or privatization in the form of public-private partnerships or commercial agreements such as TISA and TPP. The constitution recognizes that water is an irrevocable and non-negotiable human right and that Mexico City has the duty to guarantee water to all its citizens.” Ayala Ribero also said “we are very worried about the wave of privatization affecting essential services in many countries, services that have traditionally been examples of the defense and promotion of public services, especially in Europe.”

Source: PSI

A former MP and director of Oxfam New Zealand (2003-14) warns against a Free Trade Agreement

Barry Coates, a former MP and director of Oxfam New Zealand from 2003-14 warns against a Free Trade Agreement that New Zealand and Australia signed with 12 other Pacific Island countries, which the government “desperately” chased after the collapse of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). “A major impact will be the loss of tariff revenue from reducing their tariff rates. This will reduce funding for social priorities like health care and education, a point made by the IMF. As the Pacific Network on Globalisation commented, ‘Cutting border tariffs in small Pacific nations deprives those governments of crucial revenue they could use for schools and hospitals, and trade deals like this one often encourage governments to privatize and outsource public services.’”

Source: thedailyblog.co.nz

President Trump cancelled US participation in TPP

Although President Trump cancelled US participation in TPP, Lori Wallach of Public Citizen smells a rat. “If President Trump intends to replace our failed trade policy, a first step must be to end negotiations now underway for more deals based on the damaging NAFTA/TPP model so its notable that today’s announcement did not end talks to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement and the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty—all of which would replicate and expand the TPP/NAFTA model Trump says he is ending.”

Source: Eyes on Trade