September 19, 2022: In 2017, the Colombian Constitutional Court decided in favour of local communities and to protect the Bruno River from an expansion of the huge Correjón open-pit thermal coal mine.
September 15, 2022: The first known Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claim concerning COVID-19 pandemic-related regulation was registered by French airport operating companies ADP International and Vinci Airports in August 2021 against Chile. The companies are arguing that Chile’s decision to close its borders during the height of the pandemic cost them US$37 million.
September 12, 2022: Trade ministers from the 14 countries involved in the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum met in Los Angeles on Friday and published a more detailed statement of the negotiating objectives for the four pillars which aim to form a framework for trade and investment in the region.
AFTINET MEDIA RELEASE
September 9, 2022
Forty-six community organisations from Australia and the region have endorsed a letter calling for greater transparency and rejection of failed past trade models as Ministers from 14 member countries of the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) meet in Los Angeles today. IPEF includes the US, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Fiji.
September 5, 2022: Labor’s Trade Minster Senator Don Farrell declared over the weekend that he wanted the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA) ratified by the end of the year, despite the fact that the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) is yet to review it, and Labor is yet to test it against its own trade policy.
August 25, 2022: The Guardian reports that the Italian government has been ordered by an international tribunal to pay EUR190 million plus interest, a likely total of EUR250 m, (A$360 m) to UK oil and gas company Rockhopper Explorations, because in 2015 Italy banned new oil and gas projects within 12 nautical miles of its coastline.
August 16, 2022: Yesterday the Australian and Victorian governments announced a 10 year contract for public funding for pharmaceutical company Moderna to partner with Monash University to produce mRNA vaccines in Australia.
The manufacturing project aims to protect Australians against future pandemics, support local industry and create highly skilled local jobs, all of which are welcome goals. The project follows a separate research initiative of Monash University and the Doherty Institute which is conducting clinical trials for a new generation vaccine designed to protect against the Omicron variant.
The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) is a network of community groups and individuals that campaigns for fair trade based on human rights, labour rights and environmental sustainability (see www.aftinet.org.au).
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August 10, 2022: Patricia Ranald's article in The Guardian argues that the Labor government should resist threats from international energy companies to use special legal rights in some trade agreements to sue for billions if they take action to safeguard energy supplies or phase out fossil fuels. These rights enable companies sue the federal government if a change in law or policy reduces their profits, even if the change is in the public interest, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).