October 19, 2017: The fourth round of talks for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations wrapped up in Washington this week. Business representatives have balked at the US administration’s proposals to make ISDS voluntary, but unions and community groups want the US to exclude ISDS from the agreement.
October 18, 2017: Sam Cossar-Gilbert from Friends of the Earth International has written an article in The Diplomat on ‘5 Hidden Costs of the RCEP to People and the Planet’, using information from The hidden costs of RCEP and corporate trade deals in Asia published last year.
October 17, 2017: The Finance Secretary of the Philippines, Carlos Dominguez, has stated that the Philippines will not join the TPP without the US. The US withdrew from the TPP agreement on January 24, 2017. Manila Bulletin reports that Mr Dominguez recently told a leaders' forum in Washington DC, “Without the US I don’t think it’s going to be too hot… Without the US, it doesn’t make sense.”
October 16, 2017: Friends of the Earth Europe trade campaigner Fabian Flues has written a persuasive article about The European Commission’s plans for a Multilateral Investment Court system. The new model, while attempting to address procedural flaws, actually entrenches a fundamentally unjust system that privileges investors over everyone else.
October 9, 2017: Today, Trade Ministers from only 35 countries will attend a “mini-Ministerial” in Morocco which is intended to solidify the agenda for the upcoming 11th Ministerial Conference of the 164-member WTO (MC11) to be held December 10-13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
October 5, 2017: Is PACER Plus agreement a good deal for all parties? And why didn't Fiji and PNG sign it?
AFTINET recently spoke to Dateline Pacific about the implications of the deal, and whether it is skewed towards Australia and New Zealand’s interests to the detriment of other parties.
October 5, 2017: The U.S. International Trade Commission has identified ‘market opportunities’ and barriers to global digital trade in a recent report. Based on input from the US digital industry, the report argues that many government regulatory and policy measures are obstacles to competitive digital trade.
September 25, 2017: A coalition of labour, public health and environmental groups have urged the United States to remove the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS) from NAFTA, arguing it undermines State sovereignty, human rights and environmental protections.