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TPP meeting last chance for Australia to say no to ISDS

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 25 Sep 2015

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting beginning tomorrow in Atlanta, USA is the last chance for Australia to make a stand on excluding the Trojan Horse Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses from this 12-nation (and growing) partnership agreement.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “By signing up to the TPP the government is signing Australia up to give rights to corporations from 11 other nations to sue our government for making laws in the public interest if it affects those companies’ profits.

“The government says they are seeking safeguards against this but according to reports the Investment Chapter is closed and we are locked in.

“Once this agreement is signed there is no chance of amending it, either for the government or for the Australian Parliament.

"The Australian Government will have signed us up to an agreement that allows our laws to be challenged in an international private court without first consulting with the Australian people.

“The Productivity Commission and the Chief Justice of the High Court, Chief Justice Robert French AC have both extensively criticised the inclusion of these provisions in trade agreements.

“The only way the government could deliver on such a dangerous and anti-democratic agenda is by conducting these negotiations in secret.

“We have seen Labor MPs capitulate on the inclusion of ISDS in the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, given they have indicated they don’t want to amend any of the text. Likewise they also passed the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement that included ISDS.

“Our best hope now to stop locking Australia into a pro-corporation/anti-democratic international legal system is for the TPP to collapse at this meeting, or for Australian officials to have a change of heart about ISDS at the last minute,” he concluded.

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