May 30, 2019: In a recent interview with Reuters Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz has slammed trade deals that include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). ISDS enables foreign investor rights to sue governments for millions in international tribunals over changes to environmental laws.
May 29. 2019: The latest report by the United Nations Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which monitors known cases of global corporations suing governments, shows the number of ISDS cases reached 942 with 71 new cases by the end of 2018. This continues the rapid growth in cases over recent years and it is predicted that the total number of cases could reach 1000 in 2019.
May 27, 2019: A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and European research groups analyses the history of trade agreement provisions that seek to “harmonise” government regulation dealing with health and environmental regulation. The study includes World Trade Organisation agreements, and more recent regional and bilateral trade agreements.
May 22, 2019: Legal academics have confirmed that the recent Indonesia trade deal has no provisions to cancel the old 1993 Indonesia-Australia bilateral investment agreement, which will remain in force alongside the new agreement.
May 21, 2019: A new study of the health impacts of the revised NAFTA Agreement, (renamed the US-Canada Mexico Agreement or USMCA) by Dr Deborah Gleeson and other health experts shows the influence of the US pharmaceutical industry on the negotiations. These companies already have 20 years of monopoly patents on new medicines.
May 16, 2019: Ministers from 17 key developing WTO countries met in Delhi on May 14. In a statement on WTO reform, issued after the meeting, they defended the WTO multilateral trading system based on consensus of 164 WTO members, while identifying multiple challenges facing it.
May 15, 2019: Grace Blakeley argues in the New Statesman that the latest Trump policy of 25% tariffs on more Chinese imports and China’s retaliation could result in global recession, and will not fix the unjust neo-liberal model of trade agreements that has not delivered promised benefits. She argues in recent longer report for more equitable national economic policies and a fairer global trading system.
May 14, 2019: A new article by Shalini Bhutani, a legal researcher and policy analyst based in New Delhi, India, looks at the role that international trade rules have played in expanding intellectual property (IP) rights for global seed and biotech corporations and undermining farmers’ right to collect and use seeds.
May 13, 2019: Imagine there’s a new government elected on May 18, say a Labor government that relies on Green and Centre Alliance support in the Senate. AFTINET convenor Dr Patricia Ranald explains how bad rules in trade agreements could threaten the implementation of progressive policies on TAFE and climate change.
May 9, 2019: UNSW legal researcher Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha has confirmed AFTINET’s concerns that the Adani mining company could use the Investor-State Dispute (ISDS) process in the India-Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty to claim compensation of billions of dollars from the Australian government if its mining licence is cancelled for environmental reasons.