Thursday March 28, 2019: French trade officials speaking in Paris have laid out a series of priorities for climate negotiations including getting the Paris agreement "fully implemented", raising national ambitions for carbon cuts and getting more ambitious commitments from the signatories by 2020. This policy will be applied in European Union negotiations with Australia for a free trade agreement.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019: “The Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and separate Investment Agreement signed today still give special rights to foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in international tribunals if they can argue that a change in law or policy would harm their investment, known as Investor-State
Monday March 25, 2019: The Australian reports that Federal Labor Trade Spokesperson Jason Clare has confirmed that Labor in government would seek to remove Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses from the Peru and Indonesia FTAs, which the Morrison government has signed but not ratified.
Friday March 22, 2019: “It has taken a second FOI case and another two years to reveal that Australian taxpayers were only awarded half of the costs of defending Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws against tobacco giant Philip Morris in March 2017.
Thursday, March 21, 2019: The EU-Korea FTA came into force back in 2011, the first of the “new generation” trade agreements made by the EU. While the corporates have had a huge success with the deal, its promise to improve workers' rights has not been delivered.
Wednesday March 20, 2019: Lucy Manne interviews AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald on the impacts of trade agreements on the environment. They discuss the growing use of ISDS cases by mining companies to sue governments for millions of dollars to prevent regulation to address climate change, and the global movement against this.
Hear the full podcast here.
Monday, March 18, 2019: Third World Network Researcher Prathibha Sivasubramanian has pointed out the strong policy clash between India and leaked chapters in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership over medicine patents and investor rights to sue governments (ISDS). She urged India’s government to stand by its policies.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019: With the British Parliament again rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for the UK’s departure from the European Union by a huge 149 vote margin, the rapidly approaching deadline of March 29 is focussing global concern more than ever.
Wednesday March 6, 2019: Dr Patricia Ranald's article in The Conversation explains that the new Indonesia - Australia Comprehensive Partnership Agreement has no independent assessment of costs and benefits. There are no chapters committing both governments to United Nations standards for labour rights and the environment to prevent a race to the bottom. But it does have a chapter allowing foreign investors to sue governments if the investor can argue that a new law or policy has harmed their investment (ISDS). And it greatly increases the number of working holiday visas to be issued to Indonesian workers despite the evidence that many of these workers face grave exploitation in Australia. All of these issues contradict the new Labor Party trade policy.