Tonga’s Trade Minister says it’s unfair for people to criticise the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER PLUS until it is properly implemented.
Do the Pacific Islands’ negotiators genuinely hope they can negotiate a beneficial Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union or are they simply going through the motions and doing what is required of them under the Cotonou Agreement 2000? In the secretive chess game of trade negotiations it is impossible to know.
Tonga acceded to the WTO yesterday and one of the conditions of it being allowed to join the WTO was to have TRIPS+ linkage of patent status and data exclusivity.
It has been a relatively easy matter for Pacific Islands Country (PIC) governments to sign regional trade agreements such as PICTA (Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement - excluding Australia and New Zealand) and PACER (Pacific Agreement for Closer Economic Relations - including Australia and NZ.)