Duncan Roden

GLW author Duncan Roden

'Free' trade deals a corporate power grab

Three huge free trade deals are being negotiated right now, that will sacrifice workers' rights, health care and the environment across much of the world on the altar of corporate profits.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are being negotiated in secret, with privileged access for selected corporations.

West Papua wins Melanesian Spearhead Group breakthrough


Marchers in Honiara in support of West Papua’s bid to join the MSG, June 19.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) granted the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) observer membership during a summit meeting in Honiara on June 26. It also upgraded Indonesia’s membership from observer to associate.

New evidence of of planned corporate take over as WikiLeaks releases another TPP chapter

WikiLeaks released the secret draft of the healthcare annex to the transparency chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on June 10. If the TPP is adopted, the annex would adversely affect national pharmaceutical schemes, such as Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and New Zealand's Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC).

The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.

WikiLeaks confirm fears over Trade In Services Agreement corporate take-over

WikiLeaks released 17 secret documents from the Trade In Service Agreement (TISA) negotiations on June 3. The documents have confirmed the fears of campaigners around the world that TISA is designed to benefit corporations at the expense of workers and the general public.

New Zealand: 'We will fight you forever' — Unite Union forces McDonald's backdown


Photo: Unite.org.nz

New Zealand's Unite Union, which organises fast food, hospitality and retail workers, announced a big win on May 1 with McDonald's finally agreeing to join Burger King and Restaurant Brands and cease using controversial “zero hour” contracts.

West Papua: Video shows aftermath of Indonesia's Paniai massacre

A video released by Minority Rights Group on April 8 shows the aftermath of the “Paniai massacre” in West Papua in December last year, bringing to light Indonesia's human rights abuses.

On December 8,Indonesian security forces shot dead four protesters — Simon Degei, 18; Otianus Gobai, 18; Alfius Youw, 17; Yulian Yeimo, 17 — and wounded dozens of others in Enarotali, Paniai district, in West Papua.

TPP would hurt public health in Australia

A report has found that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement would be likely to adversely affect the health of the Australian population.

The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.

West Papua: Report details genocide by Australian-backed occupiers

A recent report details genocide against the indigenous people of West Papua carried out by the Indonesian government, which has occupied the territory since the 1960s.

The report, “A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua”, was written by Dr Jim Elmslie and Dr Camellia Webb-Gannon, both visiting scholars at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University. It was published in the Griffith Journal of Law and Human Dignity.

Free trade deal threatens jobs, environment

Australia signed a free trade agreement with China on November 17. The Coalition government and the media praise the agreement, but other groups are concerned about the implications.

More than 85% of Australian exports will be tariff free initially, rising to 93% in four years. Some of these goods are subject to tariffs of up to 40%. On full implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, 95% of Australian exports to China will be tariff free.

Australian company sues El Salvador for its right to pillage

Australian-based company OceanaGold is suing El Salvador for US$301 million for its “right” to continue operating a gold mine that is destroying the Central American nation's water supply.

The El Dorado goldmine was originally owned by Canadian company Pacific Rim, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of OceanaGold last year. The Australian company is continuing Pacific Rim's lawsuit, suing the Salvadoran government over a moratorium on mining permits.

In 2008, the right-wing National Republican Alliance (ARENA) government was forced by public demand to issue the moratorium.

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