Trade and Corporates

Transnational Corporations (or TNCs) continue to grow in economic and political power and, despite some steps towards sustainability, are responsible for a great deal of the environmental deterioration currently occurring around the world. Current trade agreements and economic structures are framed around corporate-defined globalisation, whereby the interests of TNCs are put before people, democratic practices and the environment. This requires a strong and concerted response from affected communities around the world.

Campaign activity

Get involved with Friends of the Earth's Economic Justice Collective

1. Global Trade Agreements

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secret trade agreement that will adversely affect the environment, worker’s rights, cost of medicines, internet freedoms, food safety, intellectual property rights and indigenous rights. 
Join the fight to release the TPP text 
The trade deal includes twelve countries (Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Japan) and is seen as a ‘launch pad’ agreement with more countries expected to join.
The TPP covers 40% of global trade and will impact 800 million people in the partnering Nations.  The TPP is being negotiated behind closed doors in secret with the help of 600 corporate insiders. 
The content of the deal will only being released to our elected representatives and the public once it has been signed off on. This agreement is not only undemocratic but would also open the possibility of transnational corporations suing the Australian government, with the possible loss of billions of taxpayer dollars.
How the TPP will impact us all:
  • The TPP empowers corporations to sue governments for environmental and health measures they do not like

  • The TPP limits access to medicines by extending monopoly protections for pharmaceutical giants

  • The TPP prioritises large-scale corporate agriculture (GMOs, antibiotics, etc) over sustainable local farming

  • The TPP restricts Internet innovation and increases the surveillance of online interactions

  • The TPP undermines Indigenous rights and human rights

  • The TPP will create a race to the bottom on working conditions, environmental standards and all kinds of public regulations

  • THE TPP is bad for our farmers and bad for the Environment

What we want

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Australian Government to:
  • Stop the secret TPP negotiations

  • Release the text for public scrutiny

  • Debate and vote on the signing of the TPP through our elected representatives in Parliament

  • Remove ISDS components from the TPP and all future trade & treaty agreements

  • Affirm the commitment to ensuring no corporations should have more power than that of the Australian Government and its citizens.

Get involved
Join FoE Melbourne's Economic Justice Collective
Contact us: [email protected]
Support our campaign with a donation
Sign up for our newsletter (via the front page of the website)

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2. Code of Conduct campaign

FoE Australia sees the CoC campaign as being a long term project and activity in the next few years will focus on generating public awareness in Australia about the benefits of an international treaty on corporate regulation.

This is based on work developed and co-ordinated by the corporates campaign of FoE International. Its aim is to gain an international, legally binding code of conduct (CoC) for all TNCs operating around the world in order to protect communities and the environment. A briefing paper which outlines how the code would work is available at:

3. Palm Oil campaign

Australian consumers, retailers and manufacturers can play a key role in curbing massive deforestation in South East Asia for palm oil plantations. That’s the view of the Palm Oil Action Group, which launched a consumer campaign on World Environment Day 2007.

Learn more about the campaign.

4. Barrick Gold campaign

Barrick Gold is one of the largest goldminers on the planet. FoE Australia is working with groups and communities in Australia, Canada and Chile against the ecological and social impacts of Barrick's activities.

Full details on the campaign are available here.

Solidarity with FoE groups in the global South

Many FoE groups, in Africa, Latin America and Asia, are on the production end of the activities of TNCs (mines, dams, forestry operations, etc). FoEA responds as best it can to requests for campaign support from these groups, and the aim of the TNC project is to formalise this work, acting as an initial check-in point for these types of requests and then responding as appropriate and as possible. This includes campaign support, attending the AGMs of specific TNCs in order to raise issues, running media campaigns and getting other green groups to do the same, and organising non-violent direct actions.