World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


ALP and Greens MPs reject Korea Free Trade Agreement

ALP and Greens MPs reject Korea Free Trade Agreement after Parliamentary Committee review


“The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has issued conflicting reports in its review of the Korea Australia Free Trade agreement (KAFTA)”, Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, said today.

“The government has a majority on the committee, so it is no surprise that the majority report, although critical of aspects of KAFTA, recommends that Parliament should pass legislation to implement the agreement. But even this majority report contains strong criticisms of KAFTA clauses which enable Korean investors to sue Australian government for damages if a domestic law or policy is claimed to harm their investment, known as Investor State Dispute Settlement or ISDS. The majority report is also critical of changes to copyright law which would favour the rights of copyright holders over consumer rights,” said Dr Ranald.

“The dissenting report from ALP MPs Kelvin Thomson and Melissa Parke reaffirms ALP policy against ISDS, citing strong evidence presented to the committee that ISDS would undermine democratic legislation. This report notes that many governments are reviewing ISDS and that submissions to a European review found that proposed safeguards in the US-European Transatlantic agreement would not prevent cases being taken against health and environmental legislation. These safeguards are far more extensive than the ones proposed in KAFTA, and reveal that the KAFTA safeguards are not adequate”, explained Dr Ranald.

“This report also recommends against changes to copyright law which would favour copyright holders over consumers, forcing Internet service providers to report and punish consumers who breached copyright law. This would involve legislation to override a High Court decision It recommends that such a major change in copyright law should be fully debated though the Parliamentary process, not rushed though as part of implementing a trade agreement,” said Dr Ranald

“Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson‘s dissenting report rejects KAFTA, citing provisions on ISDS and copyright, impacts on employment in manufacturing industry and argues for the release of the text of trade agreements for parliamentary debate before they are endorsed by Cabinet“.

“We congratulate the authors of the dissenting reports for taking a stand against foreign investor rights to sue governments and the extension of copyright. These issues have nothing to do with free trade, but are about increasing corporate monopoly rights at the expense of the democratic rights of citizens and consumers,” said Dr Ranald.

“We hope that the coming Senate inquiry into KAFTA will enable a thorough critical review of these issues based on the public interest,” added Dr Ranald.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news