IMF unions demand fair trade in Trans-Pacific agreement
IMF affiliates from countries in Asia-Pacific and the Americas met in Geneva on August 29 to discuss the ongoing negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. A joint trade union strategy was defined to make the creation of quality jobs and the promotion of fundamental labour standards an explicit goal of the agreement.
GLOBAL: The Trans-Pacific Partnership aims to liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiations have occurred in conjunction with APEC summits. The original signatories when the agreement entered into force in 2006, were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Five countries, including in the Americas, are negotiating to join the group – Australia, Malaysia, Peru, United States, and Vietnam. They aim to conclude the negotiations in November 2011.
In an IMF statement the views and the concerns of metalworkers are expressed as well as their unions’ demands to the Governments in the run up to the next negotiation round in Chicago in the beginning of September.
The IMF affiliates believe that sustainable development and the creation of quality employment in each and all of the countries involved must be key explicit goals of any trade agreement. A possible TPP must include a strategic review of the impact of past agreements, and a preliminary assessment of the possible repercussions on jobs and on employment conditions in each country as well as of the development prospects for the developing countries involved. A labour chapter must include all fundamental workers’ rights and other appropriate labour standards explicitly defined by ILO Conventions and accompanying jurisprudence. These labour standards must be met by all signatory countries prior to finalization of the agreement.
Furthermore the TPP must not include provisions on any essential public services; rules that can limit the governments’ sovereign right to legislate in the interest of their citizens or prevent access to affordable medicines; and commitments on financial services and investment liberalization that can limit the countries’ ability to control capital flows and undermine effective financial regulation.
See here for the full text of the IMF statement. Aug 30, 2011 – Rainer Santi