The analyses of the final Trade in Goods Chapter of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations ‘Plus’ (PACER-Plus) and shows some of the negative implications for the Forum Island Countries (FICs) that have signed onto the agreement. Liberalisation of goods and other commitments in the area of goods have major implications on the development prospects of Forum Island Countries.
The conclusion of the analysis is that the Trade in Goods Chapter will severely hamper the development prospects of FICs. They restrict the FICs from being able to ensure that their economy meets the needs of its people and their economic aspirations. FICs are being asked to take on more erroneous obligations than they have done at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), without access to adequate safeguards and protective measures provided in other trade arrangements.
For those FICs not yet WTO members, the PACER-Plus and its Trade in Goods Chapter are effectively WTO accession ‘through the backdoor’.
Based on this analysis, PANG has serious concerns about the Trade in Goods chapter and feels that it is undermining the ability of the FICs to determine the policy needs of their domestic industries and producers.