PACER & PICTA

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


    Articles

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  • 19-Jan-2016 Radio NZ PACER Plus flexibility on regulating ’misleading’
    The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says it begs to differ with comments by the Chief Trade Advisor for the Pacific Island countries that PACER Plus agreement will allow members countries to regulate.
  • 18-Jan-2016 Radio NZ PNG Trade Minister opposes PACER Plus
    Papua New Guinea’s government says it will not support the PACER Plus regional agreement on closer economic relations.
  • 22-Dec-2015 Fiji Times The free trade theory versus the ...
    PACER-Plus is shaping up as an agreement that won’t fit into the Pacific reality, will have weak protections for Pacific businesses and undermines the ability of governments to enact policies to support and nurture vital Pacific industries.
  • 9-Dec-2015 FBC Fiji considers pulling out from Pacer Plus agreement
    Fiji may consider pulling out from the Pacific Agreement for Closer Economic Relations or PACER plus.
  • 8-Dec-2015 Matangi Tonga PACER-Plus renders weak protections for Pacific businesses
    PACER-Plus is shaping up as an agreement that won’t fit into the Pacific reality, will have weak protections for Pacific businesses and undermines the ability of governments to enact policies to support and nurture vital Pacific industries.
  • 7-Dec-2015 PANG PACER Plus bad for business
    New brief says Regional trade agreement bad for business.
  • 18-Nov-2015 New Matilda Worried about the TPP? Australia is pushing another bad deal
    Despite receiving little attention in Australia, efforts to establish a new regional trade agreement are raising eyebrows among Pacific neighbours
  • 29-Oct-2015 Radio Australia Accord de libre-échange PACER + : les négociations patinent
    Les ministres du Commerce de la région se réunissent à Rarotonga, aux Îles Cook, pour discuter de l’accord de libre-échange PACER +. Une énième réunion pour tenter de faire aboutir les négociations.
  • 15-Oct-2015 Fiji Sun Fiji will not change its stance
    Agreement must be development-centered
  • 20-Sep-2015 PACER re-entry was vital
    While Fiji has rejoined the Pacific agreement on closer economic relations (PACER) Plus negotiations after a lapse of more than five years, the road to reaching a mutual agreement has not been easy.
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    Links

  • PANG
    The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) plays the role of the Pacific regional “peoples’ watchdog on trade issues”.