Community groups oppose ISDS in TPP-11 talks as US dumps ISDS in NAFTA, and NZ also says no

November 6, 2017 “The Australian Government should oppose foreign investor rights to sue governments in the talks attempting to resurrect the TPP without the US later this week,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

The talks will take place in da Nang, Vietnam on November 8-9, ahead of the APEC meeting to be held on November 10.

“Investor-State Dispute Settlement, known as ISDS, allows foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals, as occurred when the Philip Morris tobacco company sued the Australian government over our public health tobacco regulation. Most TPP governments only reluctantly agreed to ISDS in the original TPP because the US insisted on it as a condition of access to US markets. With the US no longer involved it makes no sense for the Australian government to continue to support it,” said Dr Ranald

Revised TPP-11 text is largely unchanged: independent assessment and Senate Inquiry needed

Media release, February 21 2018: “The new text of the revised and rebranded Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership between Australia and 10 other countries without the US contains minor additional change since last November. Some other governments have demanded further changes, but the Australian government has not,” Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener said today.

“The additional published text is only nine pages, with some changes from Canada to the non-binding preamble that mention cultural identity, indigenous rights and gender equity, but these are aspirational only, and will not affect the legally binding provisions in the rest of the agreement. There are also the 20 clauses which were suspended in November 2017 pending the US rejoining the deal.”

TPPA leaders’ statement hides deep divisions caused by extreme US demands

October 8, 2013: “The stated goal of the TPP Leaders’ and Ministers’ Statements to conclude the TPPA this year is unlikely to be achieved. The bland language hides deep divisions between the 12 diverse governments, caused by extreme US demands,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today. Dr Ranald is in Bali monitoring the TPPA talks which took place at the 21-nation APEC Leaders’ meeting.

Read the media release.

Senate Report slams secretive trade agreement process, supports conditional release of texts

AFTINET Media Release June 26, 2015

“The analysis of the Report of the Senate Inquiry into the Australian trade agreement process released today reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of submissions criticizing the current secret and undemocratic process and calling for the text of trade agreements to be released for public and parliamentary scrutiny before they are signed.

TPP leak confirms foreign investors could sue over PBS, Medicare, food regulation

MEDIA RELEASE  March 26, 2015 

Trans-Pacific trade (TPP) leak confirms foreign investors could sue over PBS, Medicare, food regulation

“The leaked investment chapter from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in January confirms that foreign companies could sue the Australian government for damages over decisions of key institutions like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Medicare, the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, which regulates GE crops and food,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.

Leaked TPP text shows higher medicine prices and draconian internet controls

The TPP intellectual property text leaked by WikiLeaks shows proposals resulting in higher prices for new biologic cancer treatments and proposals to make Internet Service Providers responsible for breaches of copyright by their customers, and force them to take punitive action against them. such changes to reduce rights to affordable medicines and  consumer rights on the  internet should not be traded away behind closed doors. Read more 

AFTINET media release

Sydney Morning Herald

Rural groups say no to investor rights to sue governments over regulation of gas mining

More than 70 organisations including 54 regional groups ranging from Mirboo in Victoria, to the Cassowary Coast in North Queensland, to Walgett in NSW, in traditional areas of Coalition support, have endorsed a letter to Trade Minister Andrew Robb. They oppose foreign investor rights to sue governments for damages in international tribunals over environmental regulation of coal seam gas mining.

Read the media release.

Read the letter.

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