INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Joins the Trend for Countries to Say No to ISDS

Published: Wed 1 Nov 2017 10:26 AM
NZ Joins the Trend for Countries to Say No to ISDS, Must Hold Firm in the TPPA
By Jane Kelsey
‘Yesterday’s announcement that the new government has heeded widespread concerns and taken investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) off the table in future trade and investment negotiations is a major step forward’, says University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey.
‘New Zealand joins a growing number of countries who have rejected the controversial process whereby foreign investors can enforce special protections against governments in private offshore tribunals and claim huge compensation for new regulations or even court decisions that significantly affect their commercial interests’.
‘The Prime Minister’s stronger language regarding the exclusion of ISDS from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is also welcome, but leaves too much wriggle-room to claim it has failed to convince others, and proceed with the original deal’, Professor Kelsey warns.
Both Viet Nam and Canada are known to want changes to the investment enforcement rules in the TPPA. There are plenty of precedents and mechanisms available.
The government would also have strong support from the legal community. In 2012 more than a hundred jurists, including senior retired judges from Australia and New Zealand, signed an open letter calling for ISDS to be excluded from the TPPA. (https://tpplegal.wordpress.com/open-letter/)
The main rationale for leaving the TPPA intact has been to make it easy for the US to re-join.
While no one currently thinks that likely, Professor Kelsey points to a deeper irony: ‘if the current US administration did re-engage with TPPA, it would require the ability to exempt itself from ISDS!’
‘In the current renegotiation of NAFTA, the US has proposed that each party should be able to opt out of ISDS altogether. The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told US corporations they should act like all other business and take out risk insurance to protect their commercial interests.’
Professor Kelsey called on the new government to stand firm in excluding ISDS from the Agreement, but points out there are many other aspects that remain problematic, including Labour’s own recognition before the election that the economics of the TPPA did not stack up, and that a broader review of the costs and benefits of the TPPA was necessary.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Police officer should not have engaged in pursuit
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
Targets overlook the 174000 children living in worst poverty
By: Child Poverty Action Group
Guidelines needed to avoid risks in government AI use
By: University of Otago
Pike Families welcome opening of drift
By: Pike River Family Reference Group
New design offers certainty for walking and cycling harbor
By: New Zealand Transport Agency
Climate Change Response Bill – James Shaw Speech at reading
By: New Zealand Government
More unsold Kiwibuild houses bought by govt
By: RNZ
IPCA report into fatal fleeing driver crash
By: New Zealand Police
Targets set to help break the cycle of child poverty
By: New Zealand Government
PM breaks another commitment on early intervention
By: New Zealand National Party
Deepfake and the law - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Pike River Re-entry
By: New Zealand Government
Long Awaited Re-Entry to Pike River Mine
By: New Zealand First Party
Families witness as Pike River mine re-entry attempt begins
By: RNZ
Pike River re-entry attempt planned for tomorrow: families
By: RNZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media