Ecuador has Terminated 16 Bilateral Investment Treaties

June 23, 2017: On May 16, 2017, President Correa of Ecuador terminated 16 Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). This action followed the recommendation of the Ecuadorian Commission that audited the country's Investment Protection Treaties, and found they were not in the national interest.

The Commission was set up in October 2013 and was comprised of Government officials, academics, lawyers and civil society groups, including investment law expert Muthucumaraswamy Sornarajah, and supported by the Transnational Institute (TNI).

Treaties were terminated with China, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, and Chile.

The report found:

4-Corners program on the dominance of Amazon raises more doubt on e-commerce trade deals

April 7, 2020: The ABC TV 4-Corners program on April 6, 2020, Amazon: What They Know About Us focused on the impact of Amazon Marketplace and the use of data to create a powerful global monopoly.

4-Corners was re-broadcasting a BBC Panorama program screened in the UK on February 17, 2020.

The program showed how Amazon home devices that listen and respond to questions (Alexa) can now record private conversations. These can be used as a stream of personal data to be analysed and sold for marketing even more products at individuals. In addition to privacy breaches and abuse of data the program also exposed very serious anti-competitive practices, which have enabled the company achieve a near-monopoly market dominance in marketing many products.

Bilateral Trade Agreements

The impasse at the World Trade Organisation has seen many countries respond by exploring bilateral and regional trade agreements.

The proliferation of bilateral agreements is characterised by imbalances in trading power, lack of adequate impacts assessment, and often more regulatory restrictions for governments than under the WTO.

Australia's completed bilateral agreements as of March 2016 are:

Singapore/Australia

Thailand/Australia

United States of America/Australia

Chile/Australia

ASEAN/New Zealand/Australia

Australia/New Zealand Closer Economic Relations

Malaysia/Australia

China/Australia

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