April 30, 2018: Celebrated French economist Thomas Picketty’s response to the ‘shock’ of Trump’s trade policy, calling for all new trade agreements to address inequality and climate change, has been republished as Trump intensifies his trade war this week.
May 3, 2018: The AFTINET submission to the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement is available to read in full here, and summarised below. The JSCOT report is due on August 22, 2018, after which Parliament will consider the implementing legislation. Our assessment is there is insufficient information for support the implementing legislation.
Relationship between PAFTA and the TPP-11
3 May, 2018: AFTINET's full submission to the Joint Committee and Senate inquiries into the TPP-11 is available here, and summarised below. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is due consider submissions, hold public hearings and report on August 22, but the government may attempt to cut short the process. The Senate inquiry is accepting submissions until May 31, and is due to report on September 18. Parliament will then vote on the implementing legislation.
April 23, 2018: ANU academic Dr Kyla Tienhaara has published research in the Journal Transnational Environmental Law showing that mining and energy industries are the most frequent users of Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms heard by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investor Disputes (ICSID), one of the two main tribunal systems that hear ISDS disputes. This poses a threat to effective measures to rapidly reduce carbon emissions.
20 April, 2018: Colombia’s decision to ban mining activities in the Páramos, a range of environmentally sensitive wetlands that provide approximately 70% of the country’s water supply, has so far led to three treaty-based arbitration cases from three different mining investors, under the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
Media Release, April 13: "US President Trump’s announcement that he will renegotiate what is now the TPP-11 exposes the dodgy nature of the deal. The remaining 11 countries reached agreement on the basis that bad provisions sponsored by the US are identified as unacceptable but are only suspended and remain in the deal, and could be reactivated if the US re-joined,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
April 10, 2018: Sydney University academics Stephen Clibborn and Chris Wright argue in the SMH today that from the 1940s to the 1990s, Australia’s permanent immigration program and strongly enforced labour standards protected the workplace rights of permanent migrants.
April 9, 2018: On Sunday April 8, the Kingdom of Tonga’s Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, threw more doubt over Tonga’s signature on the PACER-Plus free trade agreement when answering a direct question in a long media conference about the powers of the Cabinet.
April 6, 2018: Leading international investment law expert George Kahale has slammed the Investor-State Dispute Settlement tribunal system in a recent lecture at the Brooklyn Law School titled “The wild, wild west of international arbitration law”.