ABC PM radio discusses the recently concluded Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Korea. A number of people are interviewed including the Trade Minister Andrew Robb and AFTINET's Dr Patricia Ranald.
The Sydney Morning Herald published an article titled "Trans-Pacific Partnership is a big deal, but hardly anyone knows", citing a study by the Australia Institute, which found that 55 per cent of respondents did not know about the TPP, and another 19 per cent were not sure.
“The Abbott Government has agreed to include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the Korea Australia FTA text which was released today. ISDS enables foreign investors to sue national, state or local governments for hundreds of millions of dollars of damages if they can allege a domestic law or policy “harms” their investment.
by Dr Patricia Ranald
The Abbott Government policy is to negotiate the inclusion of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in trade agreements. ISDS enables foreign investors to sue national, state or local governments for hundreds of millions of dollars of damages if they can allege a domestic law or policy “harms” their investment. The disputes are heard in international tribunals without the legal protections of national legal systems: the hearings are secret, arbitrators can be practising advocates and there are no precedents or appeals.
Time: 6.30pm, Monday. March 10
Venue: Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, 1 Belford St, Newtown
Dr Patricia Ranald from AFTINET will join representatives from environment and public health groups to address a community forum on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Newtown. More details to come
The Trans-Pacific Partnership - Neither Partnership nor Trade - A corporate threat to the public interest
Time: 6.30pm, Thursday, Feb 20
Venue: Harold Park Hotel, Cnr Wigram Rd and Ross St, Glebe
Dr Patricia Ranald from AFTINET and Jon Edwards from MSF (Doctors without borders) will speak.
For more information visit the Politics in the Pub website.
The Sustainability Council of New Zealand issued a media release asserting that "the TPP’s economic benefits are less than a quarter of those the government has claimed – and the proposed trade deal would impose serious costs".
News.com.au reports that New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key defended the Trans-Pacific Partnership while in Australia recently. The article also states that the TPP has "faced significant opposition" and quotes the Australia Institute's executive director, Dr Richard Denniss.
"The Australia Institute claims the TPP risks an explosion in the cost of medicines, less Australian television content and relaxed labelling of genetically modified foods.
In the US, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he opposes the ‘Trade Promotion Authority’ bill, which would fast-track the TPP and other trade deals. The bill would allow agreements to pass through Congress with limited debate and no amendments.
Politico reports that without Trade Promotion Authority, other countries participating in TPP negotiations (including Australia) will not have confidence that concessions made by the US in the TPP can be upheld, and will be unlikely to make their own concessions.