- About bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
Pacific could be pushed into unwanted deals
- Shiu Raj, right, has a chat with Shaheen Ali during the meeting in Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH
Fiji Times | August 07, 2012
Pacific could be pushed into unwanted deals
AS the start of trade talks on a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union nears, Pacific African Caribbean Pacific countries have been urged not to allow themselves to be forced into a deal that undermines each country’s independence.
While opening the two-day Pacific ACP States technical working group on fisheries in Nadi yesterday, permanent secretary for the Industry and Trade Ministry Shaheen Ali said member states could be pushed to accept a trade agreement that was not beneficial to them.
"Make no mistake, we the Pacific ACP States could be pushed to accept a trade agreement that is not to our benefit if we allow our unity and resolve to be weakened," said Mr Ali.
"It was only a few years ago, in 2007 that Fiji and Papua New Guinea were faced with a similar scenario, which was to agree to an interim EPA or face losing market access for important commodities such as sugar and fish," he said.
Mr Ali said the unreliability and uncertainty of unilateral agreements such as the EBA (Everything But Arms) and the EU GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preference) as fall back options further limited the region’s options.
"As we finalise our negotiating positions and strategies, we need to ask whether we will allow ourselves to be forced into a deal that undermines our independence and economic power as a unified group of sovereign nations," he said.
Mr Ali said the delayed response, the inflexible positions and new proposals at this late stage demonstrated the lack of seriousness to conclude negotiations on the side of the EU.
"Not only has the EU taken a hard-line on the Fisheries Chapter, but it has also proposed a new Chapter on ’Sustainable Development’ in the draft EPA legal text.
"This attempt to include new social and labour provisions to an economic and trade agreement, issues that are most appropriately addressed through other forums, seems to be an inappropriate and irresponsible at this point of negotiations.
"Yesterday, representatives from the Pacific ACP region were briefed on the issues related to the Legal Text on Fisheries and were updated on fisheries concerns in the EPA negotiations.
"The objective of the meeting was for fisheries and trade officials to consider various fisheries-related issues arising out of the EPA negotiations between the Pacific ACP States and the EU," he said.
News from the movements
6-Jul-2015 Observatoire des Multinationales
Wikileaks révèle l’avant-projet du Tisa, le traité de libre échange qui menace l’ensemble des services publicsWikileaks vient de révéler l’avant-projet d’avril 2015 du Tisa (Trade in Services Agreement), un accord de libre-échange sur le commerce des services, qui va servir de base au prochain round de discussions, qui aura lieu la semaine du 6 juillet.
6-Jul-2015 FOCUS News AgencyCivil protests were staged this weekend in coastal Varna and in Sofia themed “No to TTIP and CETA”.
3-Jul-2015 La Vía Campesina
A ambos lados del Pacífico, campesinos, familias campesinas y trabajadores rurales rechazan la extensión de las políticas neoliberalesNosotros, miembros de La Vía Campesina en ambos lados del Pacífico, expresamos conjuntamente nuestra oposición al TPP.
3-Jul-2015 Boing BoingAt a pro-TTIP congress where the Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister was promoting the treaty, a flashmob of attendees stood up singing "Do You Hear the People Sing?" a rousing revolutionary song from Les Miserables.
1-Jul-2015 SputnikUn ciclo de conferencias organizadas por Los Verdes Europeos recorrerá esta semana numerosas capitales, comenzando este martes en Madrid, para continuar con la campaña internacional de rechazo al Tratado de Libre Comercio que negocia la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos, conocido como TTIP por sus siglas inglesas.
1-Jul-2015 CNCD-11.11.11Human rights organizations have joined the broad Belgian coalition of the trade union confederations, mutuality’s, consumer organizations and environmental and development umbrella NGOs and are asking for an immediate suspension of the TTIP negotiations.
1-Jul-2015 CNCD-11.11.11Des organisations de droits de l’Homme se sont jointes à la coalition belge de syndicats, mutualités, organisations de consommateurs, coupoles d’environnement et de coopération au développement demandant la suspension des négociations du TTIP et conditionnant l’éventuel redémarrage de nouvelles négociations à l’adoption d’un tout autre mandat
AFTINET: Reply to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Myths and Realities document, June 2015The Australian government misrepresents the claims of critics and fails to address substantial criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership, says civil society network AFTINET.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Join us.