July 17, 2023: Trade Minister Farrell and Prime minster Albanese announced last week that EU concessions in negotiating the Australia-EU FTA were not good enough and that Australia would not sign a deal unless it had real commercial benefits for Australia.
12 July, 2023: The Attorney General’s Department has confirmed that Clive Palmer’s company, Zeph Investment, which is registered in Singapore, has lodged a second Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claim suing the Australian government for $41.3 billion under the 2012 ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
10 July, 2023 In response to a call from the UN, legal experts from the Centre for International Environmental Law, International Institute for Sustainable Development and ClientEarth have released a submission outlining the dangers of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
July 5, 2023: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is a new regional forum initiated by the US that proponents say will strengthen economic cooperation between its 14 participants and divert supply chains away from China. IPEF, unlike traditional trade agreements, does not include market access commitments like lower tariffs.
July 4, 2023: Reuters reports that the European Commission has contracted several European vaccine production companies, such as Pfizer, to reserve capacity to make the EU up to 325 million vaccines a year in case of another future global health emergency. The contracts also obligate the companies to be adequately responsive to crises, including by stockpiling supplies where necessary.
June 30, 2023: US company Próspera has launched a $11 billion dollars Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claim against Honduras for repealing a controversial law.
ISDS is a mechanism within some trade agreements which enables foreign (but not local) investors to sue governments for millions and even billions of dollars of compensation if they can argue, among other reasons, that a change in domestic law or policy has reduced the value of their investment.
June 14, 2023: This agreement was signed at the WTO Ministerial meeting in June 2022 and is now being reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) before ratification by Australia.
June 7, 2023: AFTINET has consistently campaigned about the impacts of trade agreements on Indigenous peoples, including campaigning against the rights of international investors to sue governments being used to claim compensation for legitimate land rights claims, and free, prior and informed consent. Recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights is a key element in achieving trade justice.