Pacific

Pacific states have signed 72 trade and investment agreements, 39 of which have been concluded by Australia alone.

Most of Australia’s free trade deals contain investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, including those with ASEAN and New Zealand (AANZFTA), China (ChAFTA), India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico or Turkey.

Following a dispute with Philip Morris over an anti-tobacco law, Australia claimed it would refrain from engaging into new investment agreements with ISDS. However Australia’s more recent agreements such as ChAFTA, the Indonesia FTA, the Hong Kong FTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) include ISDS.

The Philip Morris vs. Australia case is the most well-known dispute to date. When Australia introduced plain packaging for all tobacco products in 2011, Philip Morris initiated a claim against Australia before an arbitral tribunal. In its December 2015 decision, the tribunal dismissed the case, albeit on legal grounds only. Australia spent A$24 million but Philip Morris only paid half, leaving the Australian taxpayers to pay the rest.

The Pacific has been the least targeted region. Only Australian investors have initiated disputes on seven registered occasions, two of which were under the Energy Charter Treaty.

(April 2020)

The Australian | 2-Mar-2017
Taxpayers are still in the dark about how much of their money has been spent on fighting tobacco giant Philip Morris over plain packaging laws.
Tele Sur | 23-Feb-2017
Over 280 organizations from around the world sent an open letter to Canadian-Australian mining giant OceanaGold demanding that the company adhere to an earlier ruling that ordered the company to pay the government of El Salvador US$8 million
The Conversation | 20-Feb-2017
While consultancies, political donations, secondments and staff movements magnify corporate influence over government, an equally sinister trend is playing out in the world of multinational corporations.
El Salvador | 3-Feb-2017
Vocera de la firma, Ericka Colindres, dijo que se basarán en la ley vigente.
El Mundo | 31-Jan-2017
La empresa OceanaGold aún no paga la compensación de $8 millones, como lo ordena el fallo del CIADI.
ABC | 6-Dec-2016
The problem with free trade deals is they rarely are about trade. In fact, trade usually is a side issue. And the TPP was a classic case in point.
Alter Infos | 4-Nov-2016
Au terme de sept ans d’un processus d’arbitrage lancé par Oceana Gold le différend a été tranché en faveur de l’État salvadorien.
The Guardian | 25-Oct-2016
Threat of action from multinationals one of the ‘enormous risks’ Australia faces if trade deal is ratified, GetUp says
The Guardian | 11-Oct-2016
Lawyer for Philip Morris’s bid to take Australia to court over cigarette laws says Australia has nothing to fear from trade deals that allow investor-state disputes

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