by Dr Patricia Ranald, Research Associate, University of Sydney and Convenor, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
By Jemma Williams
India has come under heavy criticism recently for blocking the implementation of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement reached at Bali last December.
Proponents celebrated the Bali ‘package’ as a long-awaited achievement by the WTO, which had failed to reach a significant agreement since 1995. However, critics lamented that the Bali deal was skewed in the favour of developed nations above developing nations (read AFTINET’s critique of the Bali package here).
SumOfUs has launched an online petition about the El Salvador vs. Pacific Rim/OceanaGold case, where a gold mining company is suing the country because they were not granted a mining license that would threaten the supply of drinking water.
This week, the Senate Committee Inquiry has been hearing submissions into the bill proposed by Senator Whish-Wilson to ban the right for foreign investors to sue governments (ISDS) from trade agreements.
Tom Faunce was interviewed on Radio National Saturday Extra programme and is very critical of these ISDS provisions.
Seminar: Thursday 4th September 2014 12-2pm
Finance Sector Union, Level 2, 321 Pitt St, Sydney
The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) presents a public seminar to discuss the impact of clauses in trade agreements which elevate investor rights above our democratic rights.
AFTINET's Convener, Dr Patricia Ranald, gave evidence to the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs Defense & Trade on the 6th August 2014 about the dangers of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in trade agreements.
AFTINET has long been critical of the PACER-Plus negotiations involving Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island nations. AFTINET's Convener, Dr Patricia Ranald, is interviewed on ABC's The World TV about AFTINET's concerns around the PACER-Plus negotiations
Canadian economist and friend of AFTINET Jim Stanford writes from a Canadian perspective about the dangers of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in trade deals. Canada has been sued some 35 times, for claims totalling into the many billions of dollars, and may be the country which has been most targeted by these clauses.
Stanford writes, "the ISDS system is another potent club with which business can intimidate governments into accepting their economic and political dominance — and punish those which do not."
Devex writer Lean Alfred Santos reports on AFTINET and AID/WATCH's fears around the PACER-Plus trade negotiations in an article titled "PACER-Plus - Boon or Bane for Pacific Island States?"
AFTINET is a small organisation with a tiny budget but we achieve a lot – we’ve had stories published in the mainstream media, held events and led campaigns which have resulted in more than 80,000 people signing petitions. We can’t do any of this without our members, who provide all of our funding and help spread our message.