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the game is afoot TPPA and ISDS

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:01 am
by phill
from leaked wiki

The New Zealand government is in talks for a deal with the US and 10 other countries that would give foreign investors special rights and protections that they can enforce offshore through Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and seek massive taxpayer funded compensation. It is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and they want to sign it by the middle of 2015.
Say No To ISDS

Globally there is growing concern over the threats that the massive surge in ISDS cases poses to our national policy space and public budgets. Countries like Germany and France, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have all taken strong stands against them. Prominent critics now include former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz, leading investment arbitrator George Kahale, and the Chief Justices of Australia Robert French and New Zealand Dame Sian Elias.

In May 2012 over 100 jurists, including retired judges, attorney generals, and professors signed a letter opposing investor-enforcement in the TPPA.

New Zealand is doing the exact opposite signing up to new obligations with the Korea FTA. The New Zealand government has just signed a trade and investment agreement with South Korea that gives South Korean firms similar rights to sue us if we change our laws in ways that significantly harm their bottom line

New Zealand First has a Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill before Parliament that would stop the government including ISDS in any future treaty. The Greens and Maori Party are likely to support New Zealand First’s Bill. Labour has said they will support the Bill to select committee

New Zealand would be following an international trend. The Australian Greens put a similar law before their Senate, as have some Democrats in the US Congress.

Wikileaks posted the almost completed investment chapter of the secretly negotiated TPPA from January 2015. It confirms the New Zealand government has capitulated to US demands, including on ISDS.
‘Investor-state’ disputes are fought at shady multinational investment tribunals, where decisions commonly favour investors and awards often run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Chevron is suing Ecuador , one of the world’s poorest countries, to overturn a $18 billion court order to clean up toxic damage in the Amazon basin that has killed thousands of indigenous people.

Germany is being sued for US$6 billion by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall for its decision to phase-out nuclear energy.

Australia and Uruguay have both been dealt billion-dollar law suits as a result of their tobacco control laws while Last year we saw the largest ever award in history – US$50 billion – being made against Russia, 10% of their annual budget.

A property developer in Libya who invested only $5 million in a project he didn’t complete was awarded US$900 million, mainly for lost future profits after Libya cancelled his 99-year lease - money sucked out of Libyan state coffers.

According to the OECD the costs of defending a case averages US$8 million. The Philippines – a country with almost 27 million people below the poverty line has so far paid US$58 million in legal costs for a long-running dispute over an allegedly corrupt contract to build an airport terminal – and an investment tribunal just decided it has no authority over the claim.

This is big business. Three boutique international firms were involved in over 130 investment arbitrations in 2011 alone. Private funders are also backing claims in return for a share of the profits.

Say No To ISDS
The Threat At Home

Unlike most other countries New Zealand does not have many agreements with ISDS. Agreeing to ISDS in the TPPA, which includes the US, will allow some of the largest and most litigious companies in the world to sue New Zealand if they think the government has damaged their investment.

Veolia, the company that operates Auckland’s train system, recently sued Egypt for US$80 million for raising its minimum wage

Newmont, the gold-mining company that operates in Waihi, recently launched a billion dollar claim against Indonesia for regulation requiring domestic processing of raw materials, which resulted in Indonesia accepting a regulatory concession

The tobacco companies have threatened to sue the government if it goes ahead with the plain packaging tobacco laws.

Even Business New Zealand said it sees no need for ISDS in countries that have good functioning unbiased domestic courts

We cannot afford to surrender control of our economy to the threats of investors.
Write A Submission Now
TPPA Submission

Re: the game is afoot TPPA and ISDS

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:34 am
by Screw
Yep Phil couldn't agree more. The TPP is a nasty bit of goods that needs to dumped into the sewer.

Re: the game is afoot TPPA and ISDS

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:31 pm
by aardvark_admin
The TPPA is a great example of how this country is anything-but a true democracy... and increasingly, it doesn't even qualify as a pseudo-democracy any more. Fascism have already replaced representation within the halls of power -- and all people are worried about is cute puppy pictures and dancing baby videos.

Don't believe me?

You should watch the South Waikato District Council's facebook page to get a feel for how we are the victims of an uninterested majority.

Just look at what the hard-working council staff posted to the facebook page on Friday (scroll down a little, there's a puppy involved):

What the?

Surely this council should be *far* more concerned with finding out why absolutely *NOBODY* from the public turned up at a recent public meeting to discuss the district's "long term plan". I would have thought that this would have been such a worrying situation that council's staff would be far too focused on getting to the bottom of the lack of engagement with the community to be trawling the Net for "Cute puppy pictures" to post o their facebook page.

But hey... go back down the timeline on that facebook page and you'll see that issues of public importance (such as governance, expenditure, facilities, etc get virtually no feedback -- but when they post a "cute puppy picture" or talk about how their pound has rehomed a stray -- they get scores of "likes" and comments.

What a sad society we have become and we are victims of our own shallowness and disinterest.

Re: the game is afoot TPPA and ISDS

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:43 pm
by phill
aavaz is an international email petition action group i subscribe to

this came today and in light of tppa shows the waters we tread
or rather the pockets our dear leaders are pissing in .. ok our dynamic lot are the ones more likely to be the ones with it running down their legs ( lols read definitely )

Full Headers Printable View

Big tobacco is suing Uruguay for their anti-smoking laws. If they win, it will threaten public health laws everywhere and prove one corporation can trump the public good, even when its product kills! Avaaz can hire a world-class legal team to present our voices in court -- the more of us support it, the stronger the call to the judges. Click to join:


Dear friends,

The tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing Uruguay for having some of the best anti-smoking laws in the world, and there’s a good chance it could win, unless we strengthen the fight in court.

It's a scary reality that one company, whose product kills, could overturn laws that protect our public health. But if our community's voices are brought into court by a world class legal team, we could fight back with a force no judge could ignore, showing how this sets an unacceptable precedent for the world.

Let’s tell the court that this doesn’t just affect Uruguay -- if Big Tobacco gets their way it opens the door for challenges everywhere -- companies already have at least 4 other countries in their crosshairs, and many more have anti-smoking laws at risk.

We have to move fast -- the court is already hearing arguments. Click to protect our public health and our democracies from corporate greed -- each of our names will be submitted to the court: ... cb&v=56745

Uruguay requires 80% of the cigarette package to be covered with medical warnings and graphic images. Smoking had reached crisis levels, killing around 7 Uruguayans each day, but since this law was put in place smoking has decreased every year! Now tobacco giant Philip Morris is arguing that the warning labels leave no space for its trademarks.

It's all part of a global Philip Morris strategy to sue and intimidate countries. The company already slapped an expensive lawsuit on Australia -- and if it wins against Uruguay, it could run cases against more than a hundred other countries including France, Norway, New Zealand, and Finland who are all considering new life-saving legislation.

Experts say Philip Morris has a good chance of winning because it’s using a closed door international tribunal that ruled for corporations two-thirds of the time last year. And their rulings are binding, even though many of the judges are private citizens with corporate ties instead of impartial legal experts. It’s up to us to force them to consider the devastating effect their ruling could have on health across the world.

Uruguay has its own legal team, but they’re rightly focused on arguing their individual defence. We can submit a unique legal argument about how this ruling would set a precedent for every country with smoking laws and a similar trade agreement. And we can show the court that public opinion is behind them if they rule in favour of Uruguay and health protection everywhere.

The more of us sign, the harder it is for the court to ignore us. Click below to join the call and forward this email to everyone: ... cb&v=56745

When big corporations launch deadly attacks on our public good, our community has jumped into action -- from Monsanto to H&M, we've made sure that profits don't come before people. This is our chance to do it again, for all of us.

With hope,

Emma, Maria Paz, Katie, Mais, Alice, Ricken, Risalat and the whole Avaaz team


Uruguay sued by cigarette makers over anti-smoking laws (BBC)

Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging (NPR) ... -packaging

Big Tobacco puts countries on trial as concerns over TTIP deals mount (The Independent) ... 07478.html

The Secret Trade Courts (New York Times) ... html?_r=1&

Recent Trends in IIAs and ISDS (UN Conference on Trade and Development) ... 5d1_en.pdf

The arbitration game (The Economist) ... rbitration is a 41-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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