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AFTINET impacts Parliamentary Reports on the A-UK FTA and India agreement: legislation passed

November 22, 2022: Enabling legislation for the Australia-UK FTA (AUKFTA) and the Interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AIECTA) was tabled in parliament on October 27 and was passed on November 22. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) Report on the AUKFTA was tabled on November 17 and the Interim India JSCOT Report on November 18, leaving  little time for them to be considered by parliament. The government made statements urging the quick passage of the legislation. Both reports recommended in favour of the enabling legislation, but they reflected some of AFTINET’s concerns. See our JSCOT submissions here and here.

Our preference was for these issues to be addressed before the enabling legislation, but failing this we have asked the government to address these issues in the reviews of the AUKFTA which are scheduled in the next two years, and in the negotiations for a more comprehensive Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement with India which is due to be negotiated next year.

Over 380 civil society organisations demand world governments quit ISDS as Australia pledges to do so

Sharm El-Sheikh, 16 November 2022 – More than 380 civil society organisations from over 60 countries across the world, including AFTINET, are calling on governments to put an end to a system of secretive tribunals which threaten global climate goals at the CCOP 27 Climate Change Conference.

AFTINET AGM Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 5.30 pm

Wednesday, December 7, 2021, 5.30-7. PM (AEDT) (Online)

Special Guest speaker Alison Rahill anti-slavery campaigner: Ending modern slavery and ensuring labour rights at home and abroad  

As this is an online event, registration is free but essential.

Register here

Special guest speaker Alison Rahill Alison Rahill, Executive Officer of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s Anti-Slavery Taskforce.

Alison has several decades’ experience as a labour rights specialist in addition to the past six years as a modern slavery specialist. Alison has undertaken in-depth community engagement projects in both the horticulture and construction sectors. She has also worked for the ACTU and other community organisations. Alison will speak about the Australian Modern Slavery Legislation, which requires large companies to assess, address and mitigate the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, in Australia and overseas. A statutory review of the legislation is underway with a report due to be tabled by the Labor government early 2023. This process links with AFTINET’s campaign for the government to implement its policy to include legally enforceable labour rights in trade agreements. This would place greater obligations on the Australian and other governments to improve labour rights.

AFTINET submission to the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)

November 2, 2022: DFAT has called for submissions  on the negotiating objectives of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF)

IPEF is the economic arm of the US economic and strategic rivalry with China in the region. The US is not part of the Regional Comprehensive economic Partnership (RCEP) of the ten ASEAN countries plus five other countries including China, nor the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership  (CPTPP) of 11 Pacific Rim countries. This is not a conventional trade agreement, as the US is not offering any market access to their domestic market. 

Clive Palmer uses Singapore free trade agreement to revive ISDS claim against Australia

Monday, October 31, 2022: Australian mining magnate and political player Clive Palmer has used his Singapore company, Zeph Investments, to notify the Australian government on October 20, 2022, of its intention to seek compensation over a legal dispute with the WA government  about its proposed Balmoral South iron ore project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Shocking mapping of our unvaccinated world

Thursday, October 20, 2022: In an article for Pandemic, Philip Schellekens, a Senior Advisor at World Bank Group, reports there are 2.5 billion unvaccinated people today. They have not had their first shot. A staggering 90 per cent live in the developing world and 71 per cent in the poorer half of the world. Tracking the COVID-19 unvaccinated across countries rich and poor highlights the regressive outcome of the global vaccination campaign so far.

Transform Trade reports expose British companies suing developing countries

Thursday October 13, 2022: The UK-based Transform Trade - People centred trade report and its associated legal research report – Foreign Investment, Human Rights and the Climate in the UK – Asymmetric Legal Protection – hit two powerful themes – people’s action is transforming international trade and can do much more; and British law enables British corporations to cruelly exploit ISDS in bilateral investment agreements for super profits.