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TPP leak confirms foreign investors could sue over PBS, Medicare, food regulation

“The leaked investment chapter from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in January confirms that foreign companies could sue the Australian government for damages over decisions of key institutions like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Medicare, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, which regulates GE crops and food,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.

Financial Times slams US demands in the TPP

 Alan Beattie writes in the Financial Times  March 25, 2015

"It’s not clear that a country’s affection for the US will increase after being required to rewrite its patent and copyright law every few years on a model dictated by, respectively, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. The US itself does not offer much liberalisation. It is highly unlikely to substantially dismantle its agricultural subsidy and protection regime to allow Australian and New Zealand farmers abundant access to its dairy market or stop its rice subsidies disadvantaging Vietnamese rice exports in world markets. America’s trading partners are thus on a permanent treadmill of enforced policy change in order to keep their trade access to the US".

Trade Minister accused of conflict of interest over new food labelling laws

The Greens, Public Health groups and AFTINET explain that proposed new labelling rules in response to the contaminated berries scandal could result in foreign companies using ISDS in the Korea, China or Trans-Pacific trade agreements to sue the government for damages if their profits are reduced.  See the feature article in the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax papers here  

 

Foreign owners of power poles and wires could use ISDS to sue over regulation

March 23, 2015: Professor Sharon Beder writes in  the Sydney Morning Herald that the sale of NSW poles and wires to foreign owners would enable them to use ISDS in trade agreements like the China FTA or the TPP to sue the government for damages in an international tribunal if it introduced regulation which "harmed" their investment.

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