Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) | 26 February 2020
PACER-Plus labour mobility analysis: Unbound promises and an annual meeting
One of the critical demands of Forum Island Countries (FICs) in the negotiations on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER-Plus) was greater labour mobility for Pacific Island workers into Australia and New Zealand. Indeed labour mobility was seen as a “deal breaker” and any agreement that failed to include considerable outcomes on the issue would render PACER-Plus of “little value”.
The movement of people in relation to PACER-Plus is addressed mainly through the binding commitments in the “Movement on Natural Persons” Chapter as well as the related “Arrangement on Labour Mobility”.
In the end however PACER-Plus itself achieved little by way of actual improvements for Pacific Islander workers to access the labour markets of Australia and New Zealand. Rather all that was agreed in non-binding language was an annual meeting to discuss matters relating to labour mobility.
Read the full analysis (pdf)