The Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) is an FTA on trade in goods among 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum. (Australia and New Zealand are excluded.) It was signed in 2001. Eleven countries — Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu — have so far ratified PICTA. As of 2008, it is being expanded to trade in services.
The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER is a framework agreement to deepen trade and investment liberalisation in the broader Pacific on a step by step basis. It was signed in 2001 and came into force in 2002. PACER includes Australia and New Zealand, who are excluded from PICTA and commits all members to begin negotiations towards a free trade agreement by 2011 at the latest. In August 2008, Simon Crean, Australia’s Trade Minister at the time, started advocating a "PACER-plus" agreement, in lieu of the originally envisaged FTA, which signals the aggressiveness of Australia’s stance to achieve an agreement, particularly given the EU’s pending EPA with the Pacific Island states. A number of officials and civil society critiques from the Pacific Islands have stated that the PACER deal is of little benefit to them, some pushing for greater labour mobility for Pacific Island workers to Australia and New Zealand. In June 2011, Fiji’s Attorney-General charged that PACER is only really benefitting the economically powerful in the region – Australia and New Zealand.
last update: May 2012
International forum on the present and future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement | 20-Nov-2014
‘TTIP would destroy small businesses’ | 20-Nov-2014
Fight secret copyright deals: A global TPP teach-in | 20-Nov-2014
CAP calls on govt to withdraw from TPPA negotiation | 19-Nov-2014
Trade deals criminalise farmers’ seeds | 18-Nov-2014
TPP deal not about trade, should be stopped | 17-Nov-2014
What is the TPPA and what does it mean for NZ? | 12-Nov-2014
TPP trade talks must stop | 12-Nov-2014
(mis)Communicating TTIP | 11-Nov-2014
800,000 sign petition against TTIP | 9-Nov-2014
Thousands rally against trade agreement | 9-Nov-2014
NZers rally against free trade deal | 7-Nov-2014