Australia, NZ Unions Concerned With PACER-Plus Deal

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Groups support release of text, decry pressure put on islands

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 5, 2015) – Union groups in Australia and New Zealand have written to their trade ministers to express concern over the PACER-Plus trade negotiations.

The union organisations say Australian and New Zealand is putting pressure on the 14 Pacific Island countries in the trade and investment negotiations.

They say they support a May 4th call by many Pacific civil society groups and individuals calling for suspension of the negotiations, immediate release of the negotiating text and a full impact assessment of the proposed agreement.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reported that ‘Concern has been raised over the potential impacts the Pacific regional trade agreement PACER-Plus could have on the environment. ... About 40 civil society organisations, including a number of environmental groups, have signed a letter calling for the negotiations to be suspended.’]

The Office of the Chief Trade Advisor, Edwini Kessie, has also received the letter, and the unions have asked him to send it to Trade Ministers and chief negotiators of all the Pacific Island countries.

The representatives are are in Vanuatu this week for another round of negotiations.

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