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New Video: The Dark Side of Investment Agreements

Global corporations want to use trade and investment agreements to give them special rights to sue governments if their investments have been ‘harmed’ by a law or policy.

These disputes are heard by international investment tribunals, which give priority to corporate interests.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, US corporations have sued governments for millions of dollars over legitimate health and environmental legislation.

Check out The Dark Side of Investment Agreements video, produced by our friends at the Transnational Institute, to learn more.

AFTINET Trade Justice Dinner a Fantastic Success

On Wednesday 27th June AFTINET held it’s 11th annual Trade Justice Dinner at Sydney's Hellenic Restaurant. The dinner included a raffle with some fantastic prizes and a fiercely contested auction, as well as the Hellenic's fine Greek cuisine, making for a fun-packed evening enjoyed by all and raising over $5,000 in aid of AFTINET's trade justice campaign work. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended and supported the event helping make it such a big success!

Our guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Kyla Tienhaara, discussing “Tobacco giants use of trade agreements to sue governments: The Philip Morris case”, which gave our audience insight into the activities of the corporations using Investor-State Dispute processes to sue governments, something AFTINET actively campaigns against.

Read on for Dr Tienhaara’s full speech.

AFTINET Interview on Late Night Live: "The air is thick with the fog of smoke"

AFTINET Convener, Dr. Patricia Ranald, and Dr. Kyla Tienhaara, Co-director of the Climate and Environmental Governance Network at ANU, were interviewed by Phillip Adams on the ABC Radio National Late Night Live about the Trans-pacific Partnership free trade agreement and Investor-State Dispute Settlements that have led to the current case of tobacco giant Phillip Morris suing the Australian government over plain packaging of cigarettes.


AFTINET welcomes JSCOT rejecion of ACTA and condemns similar in TPPA

AFTINET welcomes Parliamentary committee rejection of Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement (ACTA) and condemns similar proposals in Trans-Pacific negotiations.

“We welcome the criticism of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which has today released a report recommending a delay in ratification of the agreement,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a proposed new regional free trade agreement which builds on an existing Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. The negotiations now include the United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia, with several others including Japan expressing interest in joining.

China- Australia FTA (ChAFTA) lopsided

The China-Australia FTA text  released on June 17, 2015 shows the Australian government made huge concessions on temporary labour and investor rights in its desperation to complete the deal. 

AFTINET's preliminary analysis  reveals that the Australian Government has increased temporary labour mobility and has agreed that Chinese investors will be able to sue Australian governments if they can claim that a change in law or policy "harms" their investment, known as Investor-State Disputes or ISDS, but those provisions are unfinished and ambiguous.  A Memorandum of Understanding  separate from the text of the trade agreement gives Chinese investors in projects valued over $150 million additional rights to bring in temporary migrant workers.

See the AFTINET media release on ISDS here. See Sydney Morning Herald articles by Michael West and Peter Martin,  Kyla Tienhaara in the Canberra Times  and Joanna Howe in the Conversation.