Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb says he won’t sign off on investor-state dispute settlement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership "until we’re satisfied that there’s a carve out for public policy on health and the environment,"
While the legal text of the China-Australia FTA (ChAFTA) was signed last week, the investment legal framework will be reviewed within the next three years with a view to commencing negotiations for a comprehensive Investment Chapter to be included in ChAFTA.
Remarkably, the Australian government has given Chinese companies a general right to buy resources and other assets in Australia – so-called market access – without getting the same right for Australian companies in China.
A new dump of leaked secretive trade deal documents on WikiLeaks reveals an international agreement could prevent future Australian governments from introducing regulations around licensing, qualifications and technical standards, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The Central American state of El Salvador could be forced to pay US$301 million in damages to an Australian-Canadian mining company, OceanaGold, after the company’s application for a mining license was rejected on the basis of the projected environmental damage it would cause.
Australia’s medicine subsidies, Canadian films and culture, and capital controls in Chile would be carved out from investment protection rules being negotiated in a Pacific trade pact, according to a draft text released by Wikileaks on Wednesday.
Australia’s primary negotiator on medicines for the US-Australia FTA, Dr Ruth Lopert, warns that the TPP could force the Australian Government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidise medicines.