August 27, 2018: Three MPs who are part of the new Pakatan Harapan parliamentary majority in Malaysia have denounced the TPP-11 as “progressive in name only”, and called on the incoming government to withdraw from it, rather than go ahead to ratify it.
Media Release, August 22, 2018
“The report of the Government-dominated Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has predictably recommended the endorsement of the TPP-11 implementing legislation,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
“However, ALP committee members made the following critical comments: (pp 85-95)
August 15, 2018: Professor K S Jomo, a member of new Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Council of Eminent Persons, has publicly called for the new government to decline to ratify the TPP-11, officially titled the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
August 14, 2018: A recent study published by the Columbia University Centre for Sustainable Investment evaluates the costs and benefits for states of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in trade and investment agreements. It concludes that expected benefits in terms of increased levels of foreign investment have not clearly materialized, whereas the costs have been unexpectedly high.
August 10, 2018: The ABC reports that until recently, Australia had been free of the deadly white spot prawn disease which is harmless to people but has the potential to wipe out both farmed and wild prawns. Quarantine border checks were intended to prevent the disease from being imported in raw prawns.
August 9, 2018: The Canadian mining company Bear Creek recently won an ISDS case against Peru and was awarded US$37 million in compensation and costs. The government had refused a mining license because the company had not sought full and informed consent from indigenous people, resulting in mass protests against the mine in 2011. AFTINET has been using this case as an example of how ISDS can undermine indigenous rights.
August 3, 2018: 49 community organisations have written to ALP parliamentarians asking them to vote against the TPP-11 implementing legislation.
July 31, 2018: The twenty-third round of the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks over 10 days in Bangkok managed to resolve two more chapters, one on customs procedures and trade facilitation and one on government procurement. This means only four out of twenty chapters have be agreed, but there is still pressure to complete the deal by the end of the year.