24 September 2018: Trade wars are intensifying today between the US and China in the lead up to early November mid-term Congressional elections. As the US tries to gain domestic political advantage, the latest round of retaliatory measures between the world’s largest economies will mean repercussions for workers around the world, who are already most disadvantaged by unfair trading systems.
20 September 2018: Yet another country has rejected the undemocratic and non-transparent practices of international arbitration as a method for resolving investor-state disputes (ISDS). There is growing rejection of the inclusion of ISDS in trade agreements like the TPP.
As reported in The East African, Tanzania’s National Assembly on September 17 passed the Public Private Partnership (Amendment) Bill (2018), put forward by Attorney General Adelardus Kilangi.
Media Release - September 18, 2018
“We are deeply disappointed that the Labor majority report of the Senate Standing Committee on the TPP-11 has strongly criticized many aspects of the deal and recommended changes by a future government, but has nevertheless endorsed its implementation,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
September 13, 2018: On August 30, 2018, a 3-person ISDS panel sitting in The Hague ruled that Ecuador’s judicial system had no right to deal with a claim for damages brought by indigenous communities against the Chevron oil company for pollution of the Amazon and damage to the health of local communities by its subsidiary, Texaco, in the period 1964-92.
September 11, 2018: “By deciding to endorse the TPP-11 implementing legislation, the majority in the ALP Caucus has made a decision contrary to their own policies, and has deeply disappointed many community organisations,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
September 10, 2018: The Australian reports that Senator Rex Patrick has said the Centre Alliance will block the implementing legislation for the TPP-11 unless the deal is significantly amended, which would require re-opening of negotiations with 10 other countries.
September 6, 2018: Australian big business commissioned economic modelling of the impact of the proposed TPP-11 and released it yesterday, only to expose the failure of the deal to deliver tangible benefits even after 12 years.
September 4, 2018: The public statement of RCEP Ministers from 16 countries following their meeting last week welcomed plans to achieve a package of certain targets in the negotiations by the end of 2018, but gave no details about what those targets were.
This is consistent with the secrecy and lack of accountability of these negotiations. The only hints of the issues were in media reports.
September 3, 2018: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo have announced the completion of talks for an FTA but as usual we won’t see the text until after it is signed in two months’ time, and the text can’t be changed.
August 30, 2018: The Australian Greens have initiated yet another new inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee into the TPP-11 implementing legislation (the two Customs Bills introduced into the House of Representatives on August 23). The inquiry website is here.