Free trade threat to environment regulationatened

Australian health, environment and public welfare regulation, including plain tobacco packaging legislation, will be open for challenge from largely US-based corporations, if a new deal that is part of the Trans Pacific Partnership goes through. WikiLeaks has revealed that the Australian government is close to agreement on a wide-ranging trade deal that could allow multinational corporations to challenge these regulations as well as local food safety standards. The new TPP free trade agreement will cover approximately 40 per cent of the world economy. … Foreign investors would be able to take action against any level of Australian government – national, state governments or local councils.  The Philip Morris tobacco company is currently using the ISDS provisions of Australia’s investment agreement with Hong Kong to sue the Australian government for billions of dollars over Australia’s plain packaging legislation.

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