TPP: desperate attempt to finalise deal as UN Report condemns ISDS

MEDIA RELEASE  September 18, 2015

“Trans-Pacific negotiators plan to meet from September 26 before TPP Ministers meet from September 30 in in Atlanta, Georgia in a desperate final attempt to reach a deal this year,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and investment Network said today. 

Canadian officials announced the dates yesterday as United Nations Human Rights independent expert Alfred de Zayas launched a damning Report which argues strongly that trade agreements like the TPP should not include special rights for foreign investors to sue governments over changes in domestic laws, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).

The summary of the UN Human Rights Report says ISDS is incompatible with human rights principles because it “encroaches on the regulatory space of States and suffers from fundamental flaws including lack of independence, transparency, accountability and predictability.”  The report also criticised the secrecy of trade negotiations and called for full public debate of the text of trade agreements before governments commit to them.

“The plans for TPP negotiations still depend on the outcome of market access talks from September 21 on agriculture and vehicles between the US, Japan, Canada and Mexico, and bilateral negotiations with countries like Australia and New Zealand on sugar and dairy access. The danger is still that Australia will agree to stronger monopolies on biologic medicines and to ISDS in return for token access to US sugar and other agricultural markets.  We urge our government to resist these trade-offs. AFTINET will be closely monitoring and providing comment on the negotiations,” said Dr Ranald.

TPP negotiation dates over the next 2 weeks:

September 21-5 TPP market access talks between US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, in San Francisco

September 26-30: if market access agreed, TPP negotiators meet in Atlanta, Georgia

September 30-October 2: TPP trade Ministers meet in Atlanta to finalise the deal

For more information contact Dr Patricia Ranald 0419 695 841