“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.
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".
March 25, 2015: 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
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.
On Sunday March 22 at Sydney Town Hall, thousands marched to protest about unfair government policies and to stand up for policies for human rights and the environment. We were there to raise our voices against the TPP.
See the NSW Nurses and Midwives' 3-minute video of the Sydney March 13 TPP street theatre and rally and hear a former trade negotiator predict on ABC Radio National that TPP proposals will lead to massive health costs
ABC TV 7.30 Report on TPP March 17, 2015 begins at 21.14 minutes.
In a critical report on the TPP, the Australian Medical Association slams stronger monopolies on medicines and foreign investor rights to sue governments (ISDS), and demands release of the text. Other critical media articles below.
See the great images from our successful rally and street theatre outside the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Sydney on March 13, 2015.