Many AFTINET supporters will know that Australian mining company OceanaGold is using ISDS provisions in a trade agreement to sue El Salvador for over $300 million because it will not issue a mining permit in an area crucial to the water security of the densely populated country. You can read more about the Water Not Gold campaign here.
For three years Melbourne activists have protested outside OceanaGold’s offices every month, and a decision on the case is due to be handed down in August so the time is critical to send a message of solidarity.
Support the people of El Salvador in their fight for justice against corporate greed and come this Friday at 12pm outside OceanaGold's office at 357 Collins Street, Melbourne.
28 July 2016
Privatisation, deregulation and unbounded trade liberalisation are key pillars of the neoliberal economic agenda. This agenda is increasingly being questioned on both sides of politics. So-called FTAs regularly include competition, investment and procurement chapters which push for privatisation.
Most recently, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims - a longtime proponent of privatisation - is now saying "stop the privatisation". Read the full article here.
26 July 2016
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has provisions of “questionable benefit”, says the Productivity Commission, citing the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause allowing foreign corporations to sue the Australian government if they think the government has introduced or changed laws that hurt their commercial interests.
In its annual trade and assistance review, the Productivity Commission also expressed concern about term of copyright and noted the fact that the deal's future in the US is uncertain.
20 July 2016
US Vice President Joe Biden was in Australia this week talking up the TPP, despite the deal being unlikely to make it through the US Congress. At the same time, Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was in the US, trying to shore up support for the deal there.
AFTINET Convenor Dr Patricia Ranald told the media “The TPP is so unpopular in the US that Australian Ministers are being recruited to lobby for it there, while US officials are talking it up here, urging the Australian Parliament to pass it before the US does."
Media Release, July 18 2016: “US Vice-President Joe Biden may talk up the TPP in his speech at Sydney University today. But US Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who controls the numbers in the U.S. Senate, declared last week in the Washington Post that the TPP legislation is unlikely to pass Congress this year.
18 July 2016
India is seeking to terminate 57 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) after the country introduced a new model at the end of last year.
Turnbull government claims about jobs from ‘export’ trade agreements have been dealt a blow by the election results, which have returned record numbers of third parties and independents, most of whom are sceptics about secretive trade deals which expand corporate power and limit national government ability to regulate in the public interest. This will expand critical debate and campaigns as the Government pushes its trade agenda.
We have summarised the progress and major issues of seven current trade deals here.
The Liberal National Coalition government has won just enough seats in the House of Representatives to form a majority government, but counting continues in the Senate.
15 July 2016