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ISDS Bill Voted Down

The Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill has been voted down.

This bill sought to prohibit New Zealand from entering international agreements that include provision for investor-state dispute settlement.

The bill’s sponsor Fletcher Tabuteau said he was deeply concerned at the non-trade elements of the potential Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and other trade deals which allowed foreign corporations to sue governments.

Mr Tabuteau said the TPP talks were being done in secret and it was wrong for the Government to sign up to any investor-state dispute settlement clauses without the public knowing what they meant.

National’s Mark Mitchell said the bill would make it very difficult to enter into new trade deals and negate current trade deals which would be disastrous for the economy.

He said the Government was aware of the need to treat dispute settlement clauses with care, but it was possible to protect New Zealand investments overseas and sovereignty issues at home and this had been done in other trade deals.

Labour’s David Parker said the bill should go to select committee for consideration, but it was too broad in ruling out all dispute settlement clauses. There were some concerns about these becoming too broad, but they were not always bad. He said the Government should be more open in its approach to these issues to allay concerns people held.

The bill was voted down by 61 to 60 with National, ACT and United Future opposed.

NZ First sought a personal vote to be cast, but this was declined.

MPs began the first reading of the Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill

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