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

 


UN: ‘Heinous’ Murder Of British Aid Worker By Islamic Militants

A wide view of the Security Council in session (file photo). UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras More>>

ALSO:

UN: Nuclear Programmes Of DPR Korea, Iran Remain Serious Concern

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (left) delivers his introductory statement at the Board of Governors Meeting in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma More>>

Libya: Closer To Brink Of Protracted Conflict And Strife

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Bernardino Léon. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Gaza:Renewed Urgency In West Bank

15 September 2014 – In the aftermath of the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip, a fundamental change is needed in the dynamics in the enclave, the United Nations today reported, calling also for renewed urgency in addressing the situation in the ... More>>

UN Agency Food Prices Drop To Four-Year Low

As the result of two consecutive years of good harvests, global cereal inventories are expected to rise to their highest levels in 15 years. Photo: FAO/Danfung Dennis More>>

Pacific.Scoop: Fiji’s Captive 45 UN Peacekeepers Set Free

The United Nations has confirmed the release of all 45 Fijian peacekeepers who had been held for two weeks by Islamist rebels in the Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, reports Al Jazeera English. More>>

ALSO:

UN: Ozone Layer Is Recovering But Remains Threatened

The Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades. Photo: UNEP More>>

UN: Despite Price Dip, Uranium Demand, Production On The Rise

Uranium ore is processed into a concentrate known as yellowcake and packed in special, tightly sealed steel drums similar in size to oil barrels. Photo: IAEA More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news