Today Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson introduced the Trade and Foreign Investment (Protecting the Public Interest) Act 2014 into the Senate. The purpose of the Bill is to protect Australian laws by banning Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.
With modern trade agreements being more about protecting corporate foreign investments, the numbers of ISDS provisions are exploding. This puts at risk our parliamentary sovereignty by allow corporations to sue governments simply for enacting legislation if the legislation affects corporate profits.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Enough is enough. Parliaments should be free to set laws that protect the public and the environment without fear of the government being sued by corporations.”
“The Liberal government is seeking to sign trade agreements with Japan, Korea and also the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). They all contain provisions that would subject Australia government and its taxpayers to being sued by corporations.
“Australia is currently being pursued by tobacco companies over changes to packaging laws under these provisions in other agreements.
“Other nations have been sued under ISDS provisions for preventing mining for environmental reasons or introducing coal seam gas moratoriums.
“The Australian government is signing up to trade agreements that are a Trojan horse for these abhorrent provisions. The time has come for the government to stop this and act in the public interest, not just for special interests,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.
Media Contact: Tim Beshara 0409 164 603
Hobart businessperson Tracey Tipping has collected over 8,800 signatures for her petition calling on the end of ISDS provisions in trade agreements.