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Media Release: LNP secrecy deal for Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) challenges Labor policy for trade transparency

October 4, 2022: The US Trade Representative Office has confirmed that it signed secrecy agreements with Australia and 12 other members of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in April 2022, after an FOI request revealed the secrecy agreement signed with New Zealand.

Oil pipeline company proceeds with $15 billion ISDS claim against US government for environmental regulation

September 30, 2022an international arbitration panel appointed last week will hear the claim of TransCanada Corporation for $15 billion compensation against the US government because it revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming it would cause environmental damage. The pipeline is opposed by indigenous, farmer and other local communities  because it aimed to transport to the U.S. Gulf Coast up to 830,000 barrels per day of highly corrosive crude oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, across more than a thousand rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands across six U.S. states.

First ISDS case over COVID-19 pandemic regulation lodged against Chile

September 15, 2022: The first known Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claim concerning COVID-19 pandemic-related regulation was registered by French airport operating companies ADP International and Vinci Airports in August 2021 against Chile. The companies are arguing that Chile’s decision to close its borders during the height of the pandemic cost them US$37 million.

IPEF negotiating objectives announced as India opts out of trade pillar and civil society protests

September 12, 2022: Trade ministers from the 14 countries involved in the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum met in Los Angeles on Friday and published a more detailed statement of the negotiating objectives for the four pillars which aim to form a framework for trade and investment in the region.  

Community Groups demand transparency as Indo-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF) meets in Los Angeles

AFTINET MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                                            

September 9, 2022

Forty-six community organisations from Australia and the region have endorsed a letter calling for greater transparency and rejection of failed past trade models as Ministers from 14 member countries of the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) meet in Los Angeles today. IPEF includes the US, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Fiji.

Trade Minister Farrell appears to pre-empt JSCOT review of Australia – UK FTA

September 5, 2022: Labor’s Trade Minster Senator Don Farrell declared over the weekend that he wanted the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA) ratified by the end of the year, despite the fact that the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) is yet to review it, and Labor is yet to test it against its own trade policy.

ISDS Tribunal orders Italian government to pay UK mining company A$360 m over oil and gas drilling regulation

August 25, 2022: The Guardian reports that the Italian government has been ordered by an international tribunal to pay EUR190 million plus interest, a likely total of EUR250 m, (A$360 m) to UK oil and gas company Rockhopper Explorations, because in 2015 Italy banned new oil and gas projects within 12 nautical miles of its coastline.