PSI joins efforts to question mega trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are driving privatisation on a global scale. They pose a very real threat to public sector services and may even prevent attempts to re-nationalise when privatisation fails.

Hyderabad (01 Aug. 2017) — Members of the Public Services International (PSI — a Global Union Federation, of which the National Union of Public and General Employees is an affiliate) joined protesters in the streets of Hyderabad (capital of southern India's Telangana state) on July 24 in opposition to the 19th round of negotiations of the mega 16 nation Free Trade Agreement (FTA) called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). PSI is also organizing a day long educational forum on the RCEP in Australia.

Free trade agenda alive and well

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are driving privatisation on a global scale.  They pose a very real threat to public sector services and may even prevent attempts to re-nationalise when privatisation fails.

The TPP may be dead, and TiSA may be terminally ill, but RCEP is alive and well.  And there are signs that with the demise of the multinational agreements, the same outcomes are being sought in bi-lateral and regional trade agreements.

Over 500 negotiators secretly met from 17-28 July to weaken existing laws, as they seek to deregulate markets in agriculture, services and manufacturing. Stricter Intellectual Property (IP) laws that will constrain access to medicines and seeds and investment provisions that would allow Corporations to sue Governments were also on the agenda.

Growing awareness and opposition to RCEP

The July 24 rally was organised by the Peoples Resistance Forum Against FTAs and RCEP. PSI is a member represented by the All India National Life Insurance Employees Federation and the Indian National Municipal and Local Bodies Workers Federation.

Following up on the rally the PSI and Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network (AFTINET) are holding a one day forumTrading Privatisation. This forum is aimed at Organisers, educators, policy and campaign staff and key member leaders within unions and civil society organisations.

The forum runs in two parts; increasing our understanding of the issues and identifying opportunities to oppose these FTAs.

 


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE

 

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