Investor rights to sue would harm rural environments and public health

A blog by AFTINET Convenor, Dr Patricia Ranald, on investor disputes and rural public health was published on the Crikey website on January 25, 2013, countering the views expressed by some cattle farmers’ organisations that want speedy access for their exports and are lobbying for the Australian government to agree to investor rights to sue governments (ISDS) in the Korean FTA. Dr Ranald explains why this would be a mistake.

Read on for the full article.

New AFTINET Leaflet!

Check out our new leaflet! This leaflet looks at the connection between fair trade products and fair trade in global trade agreements and summarises AFTINET's campaigns on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), Pacer-Plus and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Download a copy now, or contact us to order in bulk and distribute among friends and colleagues.

Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Auckland: robust debate despite secrecy

Dr Patricia Ranald from AFTINET was at the TPP negotiations held in Auckland from December 2-12, where New Zealand civil society organised a massive critical public debate, despite being denied access to the negotiating venue . The New Zealand Government was put on the back foot on issues like access to medicines and the right of investors to sue governments.

Investor rights to sue governments hotly debated at Trans-Pacific trade talks in Auckland

“The US proposal in the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement for foreign investor rights to sue governments in international tribunals is a challenge to national sovereignty and should be rejected,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, will say in a presentation to negotiators Friday, December 7.

Community Group lockout spotlights secrecy of Trans-Pacific trade talks in Auckland

“Over 20 international representatives of health, union, consumer and environment organisations have been locked out of the Trans-Pacific talks venue in Auckland,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

"Many have travelled long distances at great expense, with no advance warning that they would be locked out for nine of the ten days of the negotiations.”

Critical Report on TPPA on ABC Radio National Breakfast show November 22, 2012.

Pat Ranald from AFTINET was interviewed in a ABC Radio National Breakfast report entitled “Trans-pacific Partnership Doubts” on November 22, 2012 , The report includes critical comments on the secrecy of the process, US demands which would restrict access to medicines, on internet copyright restrictions, and on investor rights to sue governments.

Report exposes bias in tribunals used by foreign investors to sue governments

The Australian Government is being sued for damages by the Philip Morris tobacco company in an international tribunal over its tobacco plain packaging legislation. The Government is opposing the inclusion of investor rights to sue in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPPA) negotiations which begin in New Zealand on December 2.

A study by the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute shows how these tribunals, made up of investment lawyers who can also be advocates, lack independence and result in decisions which favour business at the expense of health, environment and other public interest legislation.

See the report at http://www.tni.org/ProfitingFromInjustice.pdf

Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations Round 15: Auckland, New Zealand December 2 -12

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations between the US, Australia, New Zealand, and 8 other countries around the Pacific Rim, will be held in Auckland December 2 –12.

Community groups and unions are opposing the TPPA's corporate driven agenda, which seeks greater rights for international corporations at the expense of people; extending patents on medicines to charge higher prices for longer and with less regulation; stronger copyright laws on the Internet restricting Internet freedom; and rights for foreign investors to sue governments for damages if a law or policy harms their investment.

AVAAZ, the global online campaign, aims to get 1 million signatures for its petition on the TPP at the Auckland negotiations.

Read on and sign the petition today!
 

AFTINET supports efforts to ensure trade rules do not stop governments from regulating to prevent financial crises

In the wake of the global financial crisis, most governments have agreed that stronger financial regulation, both domestic and international, is needed to prevent financial crises. Recommendations have been made by the G20 group of governments, by a UN study authored by Nobel–Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, and even recently by the International Monetary Fund.

Ecuador has proposed that this issue be discussed at the upcoming WTO meeting at the end of October 2012. AFTINET has signed a letter from civil society groups in many countries supporting Ecuador's proposal, and has also written a letter to the Australian Trade Minister to ask him to support such a discussion.

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