Australia at risk from TPP, says leading arbitration lawyer

TPP’s clauses that let Australia be sued are weapons of legal destruction, says lawyer

Leading arbitration lawyer says there are critical loopholes in the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s investment chapter that leave Australia wide open

9 Nov 2015

 …This is where things get a little technical. Essentially, an MFN clause is tantamount to a classic wipeout move. It would enable foreign corporations from TPP states to make a claim against Australia based on the ISDS provisions in any other trade deal Australia has signed, no matter which country it was signed with. That means it does not matter how carefully the TPP is drafted: foreign investors can cherrypick another treaty Australia has signed, and sue the Australian government based on the provisions included in that treaty. Kahale has described MFN as “a dangerous provision to be avoided by treaty drafters whenever possible” because it can turn one bad treaty into protections “never imagined for virtually an entire world of investors”.

Including an MFN clause in the TPP was a “major mistake”, Kahale argues, and another reason Australia is still wide open to being sued for legislating to protect the environment.

If you are curious about what this might look like, take Germany, for example. The German government has had two claims brought against it by the same corporation, Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company.   TPP’s clauses that let Australia be sued are weapons of legal destruction, says lawyer


9 Nov 2015  Canadians have been “outfoxed” in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and will now be forever bound by a deal harmful for innovation, Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry Ltd.), has said, after studying the fine print.

Balsillie, who helped turn BlackBerry into a global player and is on the list of 100 richest Canadians, predicted that TPP will cost Canada hundreds of billions of dollars, lamenting that its provisions on intellectual property will deal a blow to the future Canadian innovators.


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