Over the last decade the growing opposition to secrecy in trade negotiations has resulted in some examples of greater transparency. Since 2003 World Trade Organisation proposed texts, offers and background papers have been placed on the WTO public website.
A community-run forum on the TPP will be held in Melbourne's CBD on the 5th of Feburary from 6pm-7.30pm.
Speakers for the forum include:
Trade Minister Andrew Robb recently announced a free trade agreement with Korea which includes the right for foreign investors to sue our governments over Australian laws and policies. This undermines our national sovereignty and democracy, and would cost our governments millions of dollars.
But the deal has not yet been signed. Cabinet Ministers must endorse the agreement so that Minister Robb can sign it.
Campaign against inclusion of ISDS in the Korea-Australia agreement
By Dr Patricia Ranald
Australian Trade Minister Robb announced on December 5 that the main elements of the Korea-Australia free trade agreement had been settled between the two governments. The minister added that he had agreed to include investor rights to sue governments (Investor State Dispute Settlement or ISDS) as a trade-off for market access for agricultural products to the Korean market. The previous government has a policy against including ISDS in trade agreements.
Julia Gillard describes in The Guardian how tobacco companies are using trade agreements to undermine tobacco regulation and why investor rights to sue governments should not be included in the TPP and other trade agreements.
The Australia Institute has issued a media release titled Aussies in the dark about risky TPP trade deal, following their recent study on Australian's knowledge and attitudes towards the TPP. The study found most Australians were not even aware that the deal was being negotiated.
Australia has been accused of failing to defend its historic plain packaging tobacco legislation, with one report from Singapore talks describing Australia as a ‘‘constant stumbling block’’ to other nations attempting to secure the right to follow suit, reports Peter Martin in the Sydney Morning Herald.
An Australian-based mining company is taking over a mine in El Salvador, blocked by their government for environmental reasons. But the miners have legal power on their side, writes Jemma Williams in the New Matilda
The mining company, recently aquired by Australia-based OceanaGold, is suing the government of El Salvador for almost half of the national schools budget in an international tribunal.