January 9, 2019: A decision by the Indonesian Constitutional Court on November 22, 2018, has found that the Indonesian President cannot approve trade agreements without presenting them to the House of Representatives for approval. All such agreements will need to be reviewed.
January 8, 2019: Using the Investor-State Dispute provisions of the North America Free Trade Agreement, a USA mining company, Legacy Vulcan, lodged a claim for US$500 million against the Mexican government on January 3, 2019. It cited tax and environmental regulations in its claim, of which it first gave formal notice on September 3, 2018.
December 16, 2018 Dr Patricia Ranald outlined AFTINET's vision for trade justice at a fringe event at the ALP conference,.
17 December 2018: AFTINET convener Dr Patricia Ranald writes in the Guardian on the risk that Adani could sue our government for millions through Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), should their mining licence be cancelled by a future government.
Yet another example of why Labor should implement its policy against ISDS in all trade agreements, and remove it from current deals like the TPP.
13 December 2018: A recent study by think-tank Third World Network into India’s “free” trade deals with Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has increased India’s trade deficit, reports Hindu Business Line. In other words, there are more imports to, and less exports from India.
10 December 2018: Food and agriculture specialist Devinder Sharma warns in The Tribune last week that the Indian Government must keep agriculture out of RCEP trade deal.
Sharma warns that the RCEP deal will lead to a flood of cheaper food imports to India, and is particularly risky at a time when Indian agriculture is in crisis.
December 4, 2018, The US continued its opposition to the Paris climate agreement endorsed by other governments in the declaration issued by the G20 governments meeting in Argentina on December 2. The declaration also omitted the usual pledge to resist new trade restrictions, presumably to enable the US to endorse it. The G20 annual forum brings together leaders of the richest economies with some representation from developing countries.
3 December 2018: The Australian government has finally made public the terms of its accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) on November 30, 2018, after four years of secret negotiations.
Our concerns are that these commitments may limit the ability of federal or state governments to use government procurement decisions to promote local development.
29 November 2018: The RCEP trade deal currently being negotiated between 16 countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the ten ASEAN south East Asian countries, covers half of the world’s population.
Delegates from public health and other community groups from RCEP countries met last week at the 4th Global People's Health Assembly in Bangladesh and produced a critical statement on the possible impacts of the RCEP on public health.