The Trans Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement between 12 countries that has implications for the type and content of legislation that can be enacted by partner countries. For example, under some circumstances corporations may have the right to sue governments over laws that have an impact on their estimated future profits under the Investment-State Dispute Settlement clause.
Under the TPP a law like plain packaging for cigarettes that is legislated in Australia could leave the Australian Government liable for any future earnings cigarette companies miss out on. The Australian Government could be sued by tobacco companies.
In fact, they already are. In 1996 Australia entered into a trade agreement with Hong Kong that has left the door open for Phillip Morris to sue the Australian Government. This scenario is one of the many that could be replicated under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. When a government gets sued it’s the constituents that pay the bill. I.e., taxpayers.
The TPP can affect a government’s ability to legislate on things like health and pharmaceuticals, environmental and food safety, intellectual property and many other issues. An independent assessment of the health impacts of the TPP, conducted by a bunch of Australian academics, revealed the TPP presents a significant threat to health policy.
What do you think of the TPP? What have you read? What information have you come across? Link to anything you find interesting in the comments.
As usual, we’re interested in all aspects of the debate and remind you we’re all human, so play nice.