Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


TPPA Free Trade negotiations resume in Auckland, December 2

November 29, 2012

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) Free Trade negotiations resume in Auckland Sunday, December 2, 2012

European report slams investor rights to sue governments

“A hot-button issue to be discussed at the Trans-Pacific free trade talks next week is the US proposal for foreign investor rights to sue governments for damages if a law or policy harms their investments,” said Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.

“The Australian government opposes this, because it is currently being sued by the Philip Morris tobacco company for its plain packaging legislation, under the provisions of an obscure 1993 Hong Kong investment agreement, even after tobacco companies lost their challenge to the legislation in the Australian High Court.”

Trans-Pacific free trade negotiations between Australia, the US, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada resume in Auckland, NZ, from December 2 to 9, 2012.

“A wide range of civil society organisations will be holding public events and demonstrations, and presenting their views to negotiators,” said Dr Ranald.

“A report by the Amsterdam Transnational Institute called Profiting from Injustice released this week exposes the growth of the international ‘arbitration industry’ for investor rights to sue over health and environmental legislation. It has surged from 38 known cases in 1996 to 459 known cases in 2011. In 2010, corporations were claiming at least $100 million from governments in 151 cases,” explained Dr Ranald.

The report reveals how the arbitration industry is dominated by a few international legal firms which supply both arbitrators and advocates, and has none of the safeguards of national legal processes. The proceedings are not public, lawyers can be advocates one week and arbitrators the next, there is no system of precedents and no appeals. Transnational companies support the system precisely because it gives them far more rights than national systems.

See http://www.tni.org/ProfitingFromInjustice.pdf

Dr Ranald will make a presentation to negotiators at the Stakeholders Forum on Friday, December 7. The presentation will analyse the reasons behind the Australian High Court decision, which were published in October, and show how international arbitration threatens national sovereignty by ignoring national judicial decisions. She will urge all governments to oppose investor rights to sue in the negotiations.

Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
www.aftinet.org.au

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news