Pacific

Pacific states have signed 72 trade and investment agreements, 39 of which have been concluded by Australia alone.

Most of Australia’s free trade deals contain investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, including those with ASEAN and New Zealand (AANZFTA), China (ChAFTA), India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico or Turkey.

Following a dispute with Philip Morris over an anti-tobacco law, Australia claimed it would refrain from engaging into new investment agreements with ISDS. However Australia’s more recent agreements such as ChAFTA, the Indonesia FTA, the Hong Kong FTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) include ISDS.

The Philip Morris vs. Australia case is the most well-known dispute to date. When Australia introduced plain packaging for all tobacco products in 2011, Philip Morris initiated a claim against Australia before an arbitral tribunal. In its December 2015 decision, the tribunal dismissed the case, albeit on legal grounds only. Australia spent A$24 million but Philip Morris only paid half, leaving the Australian taxpayers to pay the rest.

The Pacific has been the least targeted region. Only Australian investors have initiated disputes on seven registered occasions, two of which were under the Energy Charter Treaty.

Photo: Dominic Hartnett / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

(April 2020)

AFTINET | 22-Mar-2019
It has taken a second FOI case and another two years to reveal that Australian taxpayers were only awarded half of the costs of defending Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws against tobacco giant Philip Morris in March 2017.
Churchill Mining | 20-Mar-2019
The annulment committee has dismissed Churchill’s application for annulment of the award for the dispute arising out of the revocation of the mining licenses that made up the East Kutai Coal Project in East Kalimantan.
Australian Mining | 19-Mar-2019
Kingsgate has been fighting the Thai Government and its insurers over the cancelled Chatree goldmine after it was denied renewal of its metallurgical licence.
The Conversation | 6-Mar-2019
Indonesia – Australia CEPA signed without prior released text to assess its costs and benefits.
Yellowhead Institute | 26-Feb-2019
Exception clauses amount to little more than tokenism, and short-change our full rights to determine trade relationships on our land and oceanic territories.
Daily Blog | 21-Feb-2019
The panel on a sustainable world at the hui in October 2018 on What an Alternative and Progressive Trade Strategy for New Zealand argued for major changes to address pressing environmental issues.
Express Tribune | 29-Jan-2019
Pakistan is making a last-ditch effort for an out-of-court settlement in the Reko Diq mining case, wherein the complainant company whose contract was terminated is claiming $11.43 billion in damages in an international tribunal.
Asia Times | 23-Jan-2019
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The Guardian | 17-Dec-2018
Global corporations should not have special legal rights to undermine the policies of democratically elected governments.
Australian Financial Review | 2-Nov-2018
Businesses in the mining sector and beyond insist protection for Australian investors in Indonesia is required in a free trade deal.

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