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)

Library of Congress | 28-Mar-2018
On March 9, 2018, the New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, announced that the government has signed “side letters” with five other countries that are also party to the TPP11 that exclude compulsory investor-state dispute settlement.
South China Morning Post | 12-Mar-2018
Political party says the newly signed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which contains similar clauses to the Hong Kong deal, could prompt more costly challenges in The Hague
Gisborne Herald | 26-Feb-2018
Profit is king. People are the pawns, and the Government will seem to be in favour of supra-national conglomerates if it signs this “new” TPP inclusive of the ISDS.
Scoop | 22-Feb-2018
Canada and the US are set to agree on withdrawing the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico.
London South East | 19-Feb-2018
Churchill Mining updated the market on the progress made in its attempts to annul an international tribunal’s award against it.
Express Tribune | 8-Feb-2018
As a National Accountability Bureau inquiry into alleged embezzlement in Reko Diq case remains on hold, various stakeholders made contradictory claims before the Public Accounts Committee about people who could be blamed for any corruption in the deal.
EJIL: Talk! | 7-Feb-2018
The European Commission reportedly proposed a model for the fast track ratification of trade deals that should be applied for the first time to the new trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.
Express Tribune | 22-Jan-2018
The TCC tribunal failure did not reflect an internal failure on the part of Pakistan’s state apparatus as much as it did the hegemonic nature of the global BIT regime that developing countries have been subjected to by the West.
Stock Market Wire | 22-Nov-2017
The company is currently considering the Republic of Indonesia’s counter memorial on annulment, which was submitted on 20 Oct.
Scoop | 13-Nov-2017
"[New Zealand’s] new government has begun to spin its achievements, while omitting some inconvenient details", says law professor Jane Kelsey.

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