Call for more time to assess Pacific trade deal

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Radio NZ | 6 juin 2017

Call for more time to assess Pacific trade deal

There’s been a call for more time to be given to Pacific civil society organisations and the private sector to assess the proposed regional free trade deal known as PACER Plus.

The full text of the proposed deal has been made available online only a few weeks out from the planned signing ceremony to be held in Tonga on the 14th of this month.

A trade justice campaigner for the Pacific Network on Globalisation, Adam Wolfenden, said there was simply not enough time for an independent assessment of the proposed agreement.

Mr Wolfenden said the extremely complex legal document would have a massive impact on a cross section of society in the Pacific.

He said all of these people had a right to know, in language that they can understand, exactly what it was their governments would be signing them up for.

"Having less than to weeks to examine over a thousand pages of legal text is woefully inadequate for civil society and the private sector to have meaningful engagement in any form of consultation on this text," he explained.

"And so we’re calling for the decision and the ceremony to be postponed until there’s been not only adequate time to assess the implications of Pacer Plus, but also undertake adequate consultation processes to ensure that everyone can have a say."

source: Radio NZ