Sign the Petition to stop investors like Clive Palmer from suing our government for billions over climate change policies

Background

Some international trade agreements allow foreign investors to sue the Australian government if a change in law or policy reduces their profits, even if the change protects public health or the environment. The process, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS, enables foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for billions of dollars in secretive international tribunals. Labor’s policy is to exclude ISDS from future trade agreements, and review it in existing agreements, partly inspired by its experience of being sued by the Philip Morris Tobacco Company over its 2012 plain packaging law. 

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has registered his mining company in Singapore and claimed to be a Singapore investor. He is using ISDS in two trade agreements with Singapore to sue the Australian government for $110 billion after a court refused his company coal mining permits for environmental reasons, including the mine’s contribution to increased carbon emissions. 

Palmer’s cases join a growing global list of ISDS cases from fossil fuel companies against government decisions to reduce carbon emissions. A recent United Nations Report concluded that ISDS is a “major obstacle to the urgent actions needed to address the planetary environmental and human rights crises.”

Our petition asks the Trade Minister to implement Labor policy to exclude ISDS from future trade agreements, and speed up its review in existing agreements with a clear timetable. You can donate to the camapign here.

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campaign@aftinet.org.au

Global trade system fails Australia on medicines, need for local production capacity

May 27, 2024: Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) lists 423 medicines in short supply to the Australian people. Twenty of these are at critically low levels, including medicines such as blood thinners, antibiotics and menopause hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patches.

These shortages were apparent before the COVID-19 pandemic but it was the pandemic which provoked some serious discussion.

In July 2023 a Medicines Supply Security Guarantee was introduced by the Labor government which required manufacturers to keep at least four or six months supply in Australia for key medicines, but apparently this is not being enforced. 

IPEF Pillar 2 Supply Chain agreement JSCOT inquiry: submissions due June 5

May 16, 2024:  The Indo Pacific Economic Framework Pillar 1 Supply Chain agreement was signed by 14 Indo-Pacific countries in November 2023, following release of the text in September.

This agreement has now been tabled in Parliament and will be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for 20 Parliamentary sitting days before reporting in September or October.

The committee has called for submissions by Wednesday, June 5. The text of the agreement and the DFAT National Interest Analysis is at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/IPEFSupplyChain/Treaty_being_considered

Pandemic Agreement at risk of unravelling without strong commitments

27  April, 2024: The latest draft of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Pandemic Agreement was released earlier this week, but is weaker than previous drafts. The draft has been shortened to refer to principles only, without firm commitments and implementation of the principles is not guaranteed as it has been left to future meetings of WHO member countries.

Ecuador votes NO to reinstating ISDS in referendum

24 April, 2024: In a recent referendum, Ecuadorian citizens voted overwhelmingly against changes which would have allowed the government to agree to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), a mechanism included in some trade agreements which allow foreign investors to sue governments if they can argue a change to law or policy reduces their profits, even if the change is in the public interest.

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