Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Keane - Climate Change & Carbon Tax : Pacific Islands :Part 2

Click here to go to Part 1


For further information about the Pacific Islands, I have turned to my long-time friend Patricia Corowa.  Patricia has a long and strong interest in Pacific Islands matters.

My guess is that Marles is to take over from Simon Crean and his former DFAT to strengthen Oz's negotiations and strategic placement for regional trade, development, and economic agreements with Pacific lsland Forum countries (PIFCS), particularly with PACER+ which Oz and NZ spear-headed at the Cairns Pacific Islands Forum in August 2009...

At Nauru in 2002, independent Pacific Island States negotiated between themselves and set up PICTA (Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement) and subsequently and successfully negotiated an Economic Trade Agreement (EPA) with the European Union....

Oz and NZ were miffed that they were not included; so PACER+ seeks to override PICTA and EPA with Oz and NZ being the main drivers, and no longer the PIFS!

Several of the PIFS have vehemently told Crean and his department bods that they do not want PACER+ but Crean et al have said that it is not negotiable.   That S word rears it's head, in that PACER+, according to DFAT, will contribute to Forum Island countries' sustainable economic development... but my question is whose economic development? 

For example, Philip Morris already has a submission to the Oz govt proposing that the importation of its Tobacco products be on low tariffs into PIFS, (making it cheaper for islanders to buy, but what about the impact on their health)... as have other entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, the development and training industry and other expatriate industries wanting to import their own brand of colonial sustainability... Free trade will not be in goods since most PIFS are developing nations with subsistence economies.   Already arable village land for subsistence gardens has been taken over with cash crops of timber (pine), coffee, some cocoa and copra.   Crean has cavalierly told those who have said no to PACER+ that trade will not be in goods, but in services... yes, but whose culture, I ask, since training will be done at the Uni of Adelaide... and

Already the Oz and NZ govts have provided 3 years funding to set up a regional office (originally in Fiji, but now in an acquiescent Vanuatu) of the Chief Trade Adviser... who is an Oz Public Servant... and $65,000 to each PIFCS to conduct independent research for PACER+ priorities and needs...  probably done by Oz and NZ research entrepreneurs!

Makes me boil, Miss Eagle.
Check out the PIF Secretariat website www.forumsec.org. for the "official" stuff... where I read between the lines of each press release.   My anti PACER+ activism has been through AFTINET and my main contact is Harvey Purse... so check out AFTINET's website too to get the alternative stance...
Harvey Purse -Trade Justice Campaigner
Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
Level 3, Suite 3B, 110 Kippax Street
Surry Hills NSW Australia 2010
Tele: +61 2 9212 7242
Fax: +61 2 9211 1407

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