Peru FTA is first test of Labor’s new trade policy and should be opposed says AFTINET

Media release 21 November 2018: “We are disappointed but not surprised that the majority report of the Government - dominated Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has recommended ratification of the Peru-Australia FTA,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“AFTINET welcomed the Labor Opposition initiative to revisit the Peru-Australia FTA (PAFTA) because it duplicates the TPP-11 and includes foreign investor rights to sue governments (ISDS) which the Shadow Trade Minister has pledged to oppose in all trade agreements,” said Dr Ranald.

“This pledge arose out of the fierce debate on Labor’s support for the TPP-11, which contains ISDS and other clauses contrary to Labor policy and which Labor has now committed to ban in foreshadowed legislation.”

“AFTINET’s submission opposed ISDS in PAFTA because ISDS enables global corporations to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over health, environment, indigenous rights and other public interest regulation,” said Dr Ranald.

“Labor committee members made critical remarks on ISDS and recommended that the Coalition government seek to remove ISDS provisions from PAFTA, asking that the implementing legislation be delayed until this was achieved (pp 48-49). But this falls short of the pledge to oppose the implementing legislation for deals containing ISDS,” said Dr Ranald.

“We note that the Greens’ dissenting report opposed the PAFTA implementing legislation. Labor, the Greens, Centre Alliance and other crossbenchers have a majority in the Senate to defeat the legislation.”

“We call on Labor to implement its policy and oppose the PAFTA implementing legislation.”

Contact Dr Patricia Ranald on 0419 695 841