AFTINET | 6 February 2023
AFTINET submission to the review of ISDS in the Australia-NZ-ASEAN free trade agreement
This revision of the ASEAN agreement (AANZFTA) was begun under the Morrison coalition government and Labor Trade Minister Farrell announced on November 14 that in-principle agreement has been reached on most issues. The text will not be released until after it is finalised. The RCEP and CPTPP texts are being used as models. The provisions on corporate rights to sue governments (Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS) arrangements are still being reviewed.
AANZFTA was signed in 2010. The ISDS rights were heavily qualified by some ASEAN governments. AFTINET has made a submission arguing that the government should implement its policy to review and remove ISDS provisions from existing agreements.
The AFTINET submission provides evidence of the harmful use of ISDS over the last decade against public regulation on health, indigenous rights, the environment and most recently against policies to reduce carbon emissions. See the AFTINET submission here.