Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA)

The KAFTA Implementing legislation was passed on October 1, 2014 and the agreement came into force on December 12, 2014. AFTINET oppose this agreement because it was negotiated in secret, included special rights for foreign investors to sue governments over domestic legislation (ISDS), removed labour market testing for temporary migrant workers and contained only weak labour and environmental standards which were not enforceable. The tariff reductions were unbalanced and the economic study did not take account of employment impacts in manufacturing industry.

Stiglitz on why investor state dispute settlement is a bad idea

Nobel prize winning economist, Joseph E. Stiglitz comes out strongly against investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in trade and investment deals including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

South Africa is now joining Ecuador and Venezuela in terminating some investment agreements. In his piece, 'South Africa Breaks Out', Stiglitz explains why other countries should follow suit.

AFTINET Submission to the KAFTA Senate Inquiry

AFTINET has made a detailed submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).

Download AFTINET's Submission here.

AFTINET's submission includes details about the inclusion of investor rights to sue governments over domestic legislation (investor-state dispute settlement) and why claimed "safeguards" will not work, as well as other aspects of the KAFTA.

Submissions to the Senate Inquiry are still being accepted.

It is important to send a submission, because the more that are sent, the more ammunition there will be for a full critical debate about the Korea FTA when the implementing legislation goes before the Senate.

Senate Inquiry reveals community opposition and dangers of foreign investor rights to sue governments despite claimed “safeguards”

by Dr Patricia Ranald, Research Associate, University of Sydney and Convenor, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network

The report from a Senate inquiry into foreign investor rights to sue governments in international tribunals for damages over domestic legislation, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS were tabled in Parliament on the evening of August 27. The inquiry received 141 submissions and 11,000 letters which were overwhelmingly critical of ISDS. There are two other ongoing Parliamentary enquiries into the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement which includes ISDS. This level of public concern and Parliamentary scrutiny demonstrates that ISDS is a hot button issue.

Radio National: How foreign investors can trump Australian law

This week, the Senate Committee Inquiry has been hearing submissions into the bill proposed by Senator Whish-Wilson to ban the right for foreign investors to sue governments (ISDS) from trade agreements.

Tom Faunce was interviewed on Radio National Saturday Extra programme and is very critical of these ISDS provisions.

Listen to the interview on Radio National here.

19/08/2014

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