October 17, 2019: Media Release “Labor has decided to approve the enabling legislation for the Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru agreements despite the fact that they contain damaging provisions that are contrary Labor policies, in return for some fairly weak assurances from the government that may not be delivered,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
October 15, 2019: Chief negotiators are continuing to meet in Bangkok this week after last week’s RCEP Ministers’ meeting, intended to finalise the negotiations, failed to reach agreement on key provisions. Governments still say they are working to complete the agreement by the end of the year, but final agreement is proving difficult to achieve.
October 10, 2019: Community groups representing millions say trade deals with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru put corporate rights before people and environment and urge Labor and cross-bench to oppose them
October 9, 2019: Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) polling in the seats of Bass, Brand, Corio, Hunter and Rankin reveals 75 - 80 per cent of voters oppose trade agreements that allow additional work visas without first testing if local workers can fill available jobs and that include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that give corporations the right to sue governments for policy decisions that impact on their profit.
October 8, 2019: AFTINET and Indonesia for Global Justice have come together to oppose the inclusion of investor rights to sue governments in the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
October 8, 2019: All AFTINET members and supporters are invited to our annual AGM on Wednesday November 13 at 5.30pm to discuss what we’ve done over the past year and to make plans for next year.
October 3, 2019: A new article by Deborah James from the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows how e-commerce rules in the WTO and other trade deals could limit developing countries’ ability to tax the business activities of transnational corporations, reducing much needed revenue for public services and the development of decent employment and to fund their digital industrialisation.
September 30, 2019: The School of Regulation and Global Governance at Australian National University convened a capacity building roundtable on September 6th that addressed the impact that trade and investment agreements have on health and health policy.
September 26, 2019: The Canberra Times and SBS news have reported that the Australia-Indonesia trade deal could face Senate opposition after key cross benchers, including the Greens, Centre Alliance and One Nation expressed concerns about aspects of the deal, including provisions for an additional 5000 temporary seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers each year who are vulnerable to wage theft and other forms of exploitation.
September 25, 2019: The South African Government has submitted proposals to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) review of ISDS. ISDS enables foreign investors to claim compensation from governments in international investment tribunals if they can claim that domestic laws reduce the value of their investment.