July 12, 2017: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has told the US Senate Finance Committee on June 21 that he is working to advance each point of President Trump’s trade policy agenda, which includes promoting U.S. sovereignty, enforcing U.S. trade laws, leveraging American economic strength, protecting U.S. intellectual property rights, and reducing America’s persistent trade deficit.
July 10, 2017: Media Release: “We welcome the international tribunal decision that Philip Morris tobacco company should pay the costs of its failed case against Australia’s 2011 plain packaging law. But it is absurd and unacceptable that the tribunal has not released the amount of the costs, which have been blacked out of the published decision,” Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
July 7, 2017: The TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement) talks are currently in limbo pending a signal from the Trump administration about its intentions. This report provides the latest analysis of the leaked texts which restrict governments’ ability to regulate and provide essential services.
June 30, 2017: The Joint Select Committee on Government Procurement has recommended that the Commonwealth Procurement Rules should be clarified and strengthened to encourage Australian suppliers. To ensure this, the Australian Government must not enter into trade agreements which could undermine these benefits to local industry and employment.
June 23, 2017: On May 16, 2017, President Correa of Ecuador terminated 16 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). This action followed the recommendation of the Ecuadorian Commission that audited the country's Investment Protection Treaties, and found they were not in the national interest.
June 23, 2017: The New York Times has published a leaked draft of a new Trump Executive Order which demonstrates that Big Pharma has captured the White House.
The document directs the United States Trade Representative to conduct a study of price differences between the United States and other countries, and to review trade agreements that may need to be revised “to promote greater intellectual property protection and competition in the global market.”
June 20, 2017: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega-regional trade deal, which if adopted, will cover half of the world’s population, including 420 million small family farms which produce 80% of the region’s food.A new infographic from GRAIN shows what this agreement will mean for food and farmers in the region, based on current leaked drafts.
On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued the long-awaited landmark Opinion 2/15 on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). According to the CJEU, the agreement falls under the EU’s powers, but not entirely. EU Member States’ national and regional parliaments and the European Parliament must ratify some important provisions regarding investors, particularly ISDS.
The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) is a network of community groups and individuals that campaigns for fair trade based on human rights, labour rights and environmental sustainability. This is an exciting opportunity if you have web-based communication and graphic design skills and are passionate about human rights, the environment and trade justice. The position is part-time for 21 hours or three days per week, on a fixed-term contract, with the potential of further contracts dependent on funding. Read more here.