Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

Negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement with Japan began in 2007 and an agreement on the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) was announced on April 7, 2014 and signed on 8 July 2014 in Canberra.

The Japan-Australia agreement does not include the controversial right for foreign investors to sue governments (called Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS), which is a  controversial issue in Australia, largely due to a widespread campaign against it, led by AFTINET . However, it does have a provision allowing for a review of this, and a compulsory review is required if Australia signs other agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which include ISDS.

Australia must reject legal straightjacket on trade

By Patricia Ranald, for The Drum

April 8, 2014: Secretive economic partnership deals remain a worry, but it's good to see Australia hold strong against regulations that would expose us to potential legal action, writes Patricia Ranald.

The grand announcement about the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement was made yesterday, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott was in Japan, but the text of the agreement remains secret.

This enabled a splash to be made about claimed benefits without public scrutiny of the downsides of the deal.

Why is the text still secret? After the necessary legal checks by both sides, you might assume it would be released for public discussion. But the Australian process for approval of trade agreements is a Cabinet process.

This means that Cabinet will approve the text for signing before it is released publicly, and the text then cannot be changed.

AFTINET Submission to DFAT on the Japan-Aus FTA (2007)

Negotiations between Australia and Japan begun in April 2007 and have made slow progress since. Australia has specific interest in increased agricultural exports to Japan in the areas of beef, dairy, rice, wheat and sugar. In response to these demands there was widespread opposition from the farming communities, the traditional support base for the Japanese government.


For more information see our 2007 Submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.



Urgent letter to the Trade Minister re: Japan-Australia FTA

Please send this important letter to the Trade Minister about concerns that investor rights to sue governments (ISDS) may be included in the Japan-Australia FTA

This is urgent because Trade Minister Robb is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Japan with the aim of completing it before Prime Minister Abbott visits Japan on April 8. We understand that foreign investor rights to sue governments (ISDS) is being offered as a bargaining chip to obtain access to Japanese agricultural markets. See the ABC Radio National report for more information.

Concern Australia could get mauled by Japan free trade ISDS clause

Japanese companies would be able to sue Australian governments under clauses expected to be included in the Australia-Japan free trade agreement, writes Peter Martin for the Sydney Morning Herald.

The article outlines concerns that controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses may be included in the agreement and features quotes by AFTINET's Convener, Dr Patricia Ranald

Read the full article here.


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