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Philip Morris, Australia and the fate of Europe’s trade talks

The Philip Morris tobacco company is trying to use investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses in an obscure 1993 Australia-Kong Kong investment agreement to sue the government for damages in an international tribunal over the tobacco plain packaging legislation.

James Panichi reports that this case has disrupted trade talks between the United States and Europe as it calls into question the inclusion of ISDS clauses. Read the article on Inside Story.

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Petition: Stop foreign investors suing our governments – reject Korea trade deal

Trade Minister Andrew Robb recently announced a free trade agreement with Korea which includes the right for foreign investors to sue our governments over Australian laws and policies. This undermines our national sovereignty and democracy, and would cost our governments millions of dollars.

But the deal has not yet been signed. Cabinet Ministers must endorse the agreement so that Minister Robb can sign it.

Campaign against inclusion of ISDS in the Korea-Australia agreement

Campaign against inclusion of ISDS in the Korea-Australia agreement

By Dr Patricia Ranald

Australian Trade Minister Robb announced on December 5 that the main elements of the Korea-Australia free trade agreement had been settled between the two governments. The minister added that he had agreed to include investor rights to sue governments (Investor State Dispute Settlement or ISDS) as a trade-off for market access for agricultural products to the Korean market. The previous government has a policy against including ISDS in trade agreements.