11 October 2018: There was a reported meeting this week in Beijing between Chinese and European Union trade officials about changes to the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”). We’re still waiting to hear outcomes of the meeting, which follows change proposals and continued negotiations between WTO members.
8 October 2018: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), a remodelling of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), has serious implications for data privacy and usage for consumers in those countries and around the world according to Michael Geist in a Washington Post article.
4 October 2018: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in trade deals enable foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments in international tribunals if they can argue that a change in law or policy has harmed their investment.
The revamped NAFTA agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada, now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, will phase out ISDS between the US and Canada altogether after three years. The deal also limits the scope for ISDS cases between the US and Mexico to cases of direct government takeover of assets.
25 September 2018: A recent article in The Conversation by public health experts confirms that the EU is seeking stronger monopolies on medicines, including the most expensive biologic medicines used to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases. This would delay the availability of cheaper versions of those medicines. If Australia agrees, these provisions would have the likely effect of extending the period for which Australia subsidises already very expensive medicines.
24 September 2018: There has been a massive response against the Labor caucus majority decision on September 11 to support the TPP-11 implementing legislation, with thousands of messages sent to Labor MPs and Senators asking them to vote against the implementing legislation. AFTINET thanks all members and supporters who have sent messages. If you have not already done so, please send a message to Labor Senators, and urge others to do so by sharing our Facebook post.
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.