Singapore/Australia FTA

Palmer threatens to use foreign investor rights to sue the Australian government after moving assets to Singapore

August 26, 2020: The Melbourne Age has reported that Clive Palmer’s Singapore-based company, established in 2019, could use foreign investor rights in the Singapore-Australia free trade agreement to claim billions in compensation because the WA government passed legislation terminating a legal dispute over an iron ore project, which had been running since 2012.

EU Court decision that US does not meet data privacy standards could challenge data deregulation through trade deals

July 20, 2020: The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on July 16 that EU data agencies must suspend data transfers to any country where the EU standards for data privacy cannot be met. It ruled that one particular arrangement, the US Privacy Shield, failed to meet the standards, and this has a direct impact on Facebook.

Australia’s COVID-19 tracing app has privacy rules that Australia rejected in the draft Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore

April 30, 2020: Australia’s Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has issued a directive about the new COVID-19 tracing app to reassure users that their privacy will be protected, and their data will not be abused.

The government claims that the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) Determination 2020, Section 7 states that the data must be stored in Australia.

Fast-tracked Singapore digital deregulation agreement completed, but text will be secret until after signing

March 30, 2020: Australia and Singapore concluded the text of a Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) on March 23. There is a summary on the DFAT website but the full text will not be released until after it has been legally checked and signed, which could take at least 1-2 months.

The agreement will replace the e-commerce chapter in the Singapore-Australia FTA.

Singapore FTA changes echo TPP on ISDS, temporary workers and government procurement

August 9, 2017: Media Release: “The report of the government-dominated Joined Standing Committee on Treaties released yesterday on amendments to the Singapore FTA supports changes that are bad precedents for other trade agreements," Dr Patricia Ranald Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

Singapore trade agreement amendments: submissions needed

3 May 2017: Amendments to the 2003 Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement were tabled in Parliament  on March 20 and are being reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. The problem with the amendments is that they largely reflect the text of the TPP,Including increases in temporary workers, removal of labour market testing for temporary workers and expansion of state government procurement commitments. 

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