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News about the Trans Pacific Partnership – Extracted from the AFTINET bulletin of Oct-Nov 2018

In a blow to democracy, the TPP-11 implementing legislation was passed by Australian Senate on Oct 18, following eight years of opposition from civil society. Labor Senators voted with the Coalition government to pass the legislation, which was opposed by the Greens, the Centre Alliance and most other crossbench Senators.

The huge community backlash has pressured the ALP to make stronger commitments in their foreshadowed legislation to ban harmful clauses like ISDS* in future trade deals. We will be holding them to account for these commitments, and will monitor the TPP-11 and report on its impacts when it comes into force next year.

* The ISDS (Investor-state dispute settlement ) is a mechanism in a free trade agreement (FTA) or investment treaty that provides foreign investors, which includes overseas Australian invest0rs, with the right to access an international tribunal to resolve investment disputes.

This provision allows foreign investors to sue host governments, and has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the TTP. There are some governments (not including the current Australian government) who will not agree to such a provision, and are questioning its legal legitimacy.

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