Press Release – Australian Fair Trade Network

Media Alert Thursday February 23, 2012 Public Health groups, Unions demand Fair Deal or No Deal in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations; events list Melbourne March 1-9 The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations between …Media Alert Thursday February 23, 2012

Public Health groups, Unions demand Fair Deal or No Deal in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations; events list Melbourne March 1-9

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations between the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam continue in Melbourne, March 1-9.

The negotiations began in 2010, but have been delayed by controversial US proposals which would give corporations the right to sue governments for damages, and give pharmaceutical corporations greater rights to charge high prices for longer for medicines. Community groups oppose these demands and also want enforceable labour rights and environmental protections in the agreement.

The Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network (AFTINET), the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), and the Victorian Trades Hall Council are sponsoring events to expose these issues to public debate and urge the Australian government to stand by its policies and not agree to harmful US proposals. They will be joined by international speakers from the United States, New Zealand and other TPPA countries.

1) Public Forum Free Trade or Fair Trade?, Thursday 1st March – 6:00-8:00pm Where: RMIT City Campus, Building 56, Level 4, Room 81, Corner of Queensberry and Lygon Streets. Entrance on Queensberry Street. Sponsored by the ACTU and AFTINET. Speakers include: • Ged Kearney, Australian Council of Trade Unions • Professor Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland • Dr Kyla Tienhaara, Australian National University • Dr Deborah Gleeson, Public Health Association Australia • Lori Wallach, Public Citizen, US consumer group Facilitator: Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET. 2) Public Forum: TPPA and Access to Medicines, Monday 5th March – 6:00-7:30pm Where: University of Melbourne, Executive Lounge, 1st Floor, Alan Gilbert Building, 161 Barry Street, (Corner of Grattan and Barry Streets), Melbourne. Sponsored by the Public Health Association of Australia (Victoria Branch), the Nossal Institute for Global Health and the People’s Health Movement of Australia. Speakers include: • Ms Sanya Reid-Smith, Third World Network • Mr John Rock, APN + People Living With HIV in the Asia Pacific Region • Mr Matt Cleary, Medecins Sans Frontieres 3) Lunch Time Rally A Fair Deal or No Deal At All, Thursday 8th March – 12:30 – 1:15pm

Where: Street-front courtyard, Melbourne Entertainment and Exhibition Centre, Clarendon Street, Southbank (opposite Crown, west entrance).

Sponsored by the Victorian Trades Hall Council in conjunction with AFTINET. Speakers to be advised.

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