Hong Kong FTA

Overview

Australia and Hong Kong launched negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement in May 2017.

Hong Kong already has zero tariffs levels on Australian goods exports, so this agreement is mainly about services and “non-tariff barriers.”

Australia already has a bilateral investment treaty with Hong Kong (1993), which includes investor rights to sue governments (ISDS). This is the treaty that Philip Morris tried to use to sue the Australian Government over the cigarette plain packaging laws.

Media Release: Hong Kong FTA would still allow foreign investors to sue our government, says AFTINET

Tuesday, March 26, 2019: “The Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and separate Investment Agreement signed today still give special rights to foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in international tribunals if they can argue that a change in law or policy would harm their investment, known as Investor-State

Possible FTA with Hong Kong

26 April 2017: The Australian Government is currently considering a free trade agreement with Hong Kong. At this stage, the Government has put out a press release signalling their intention and is currently inviting public submissions. Read on for our human rights and environmental sustainability concerns.