Tag: Pacific Island Affairs

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Free Trade at What Costs?

Press Release – Council on Hemispheric Affairs The United States and eight other Asia-Pacific nations are engaged in top secret negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hailed by the White House as a 21st century trade agreement. Although the pact will significantly benefit regional …In this release… The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Free Trade at What Costs? The United States and eight other Asia-Pacific nations are engaged in top secret negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), hailed by the White House as a 21st century trade agreement. Although the pact will significantly benefit regional economic integration, the TPP will encompass far more than trade. Additional provisions address investment, intellectual property rights, and environmental protection among other topics. Beyond the leaked texts and vague statements, which makes it apparent that the TPP will rewrite domestic laws and uphold investor-to-state relations, few outside the negotiating room know any details of the agreement. Thus, the TPP presents a troubling case of free trade being purchased at too great a price. This analysis was prepared by Eric Stadius and Elizabeth Briggs, Research Associates at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. To read full article, click here. Open Letter to USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk COHA calls for the USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk to implement greater transparency measures surrounding negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This letter was prepared by Eric Stadius and Elizabeth Briggs, Research Associates at the...

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Fair Trade Group Condemns Big Tobacco Use Of Trade Agreement

Press Release – AFTINET Fair Trade Group Condemns Big Tobacco’s Use Of Trade Agreements To Continue Plain Packaging Fight After High Court Defeat Media Release August 15, 2012 Fair Trade Group Condemns Big Tobacco’s Use Of Trade Agreements To Continue Plain Packaging Fight After High Court Defeat “We welcome the High Court decision as a vindication of the Government’s right to regulate tobacco as an addictive substance that still kills 15,000 Australians per year,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today. “But the government still faces two more legal challenges from big tobacco, which is desperate to stop Australia setting an example by implementing the plain packaging recommendations of the World Health Organisation. “Some trade agreements have clauses which allow foreign investors to sue governments, on the grounds that a law or policy ‘harms’ their investment. The Australian government policy is to oppose these clauses in current and future trade negotiations. However, they do exist in some past trade agreements, and big tobacco is taking full advantage of this,” explained Dr Ranald. “The Philip Morris tobacco company is currently suing the Australian government over its tobacco plain packaging legislation, using an obscure 1993 Hong Kong- Australia investment treaty. Philip Morris is actually a US-based company, but could not sue under the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, because public opposition kept this clause out...

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Pacific Day Keynote Speech: New Zealand Embassy, Washington

Speech – New Zealand Government Distinguished Guests, including Assistant Secretary of State Dr Esther Brimmer and, our moderator today, Mr Ernie Bower from the Center of Strategic and International Studies.Hon Murray McCully Minister of Foreign Affairs 24 May 2012 Speech Pacific Day Keynote Speech: New Zealand Embassy, Washington DC Distinguished Guests, including Assistant Secretary of State Dr Esther Brimmer and, our moderator today, Mr Ernie Bower from the Center of Strategic and International Studies. It gives me great pleasure to be here this afternoon on this important occasion. Ties between the United States and the Pacific region go back as far as there has been a United States of America. It seems appropriate that today we should acknowledge the role of the Pacific War in reinforcing and strengthening our relationship. For it is almost 70 years to the day since the first American troops landed in the South Pacific as part of the long, hard island campaign against Japan in World War II. On 12 June 1942 five American transport ships, a cruiser and a destroyer sailed into Auckland Harbour. One of the advance guard gave the following piece of news to his compatriots as they set foot on New Zealand shores: “No Scotch, two per cent beer, but nice folks.” Some things, thankfully, change with time. Other things, I hope, do not. For the following two years, at...

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