The new year saw the entry into force of two new trade deals involving Australia, namely those involving Peru and Hong Kong. The two agreements both feature investment chapters and were ratified in the Australian legislature in late December, together with a separate accord involving Indonesia.
Australia has signed a new BIT with Uruguay and an investment deal with Hong Kong. The agreements feature some changes or clarifications to past deals’ provisions on ISDS and on government regulations designed to fulfill public policy objectives, such as health.
The CPTPP entered into force on December 30, 2018, when it took effect for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. Vietnam followed suit on January 14, 2019.
Australia and Indonesia have now signed their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), bringing to a close a negotiating process that began in November 2010. The two countries signed the agreement on March 4, 2019. The IA-CEPA also includes an investment chapter and four related annexes, which cover an arbitrators’ code of conduct; expropriation and compensation; foreign investment policy; and public debt.
On September 10, 2018, the Australian Labor Party (Labor) dropped its long-standing opposition to the 11-nation CPTPP, clearing the way for the agreement to pass the Senate.
On July 17, 2018, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the Japan–European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA).
On March 8, 2018, the CPTPP was signed in Santiago, Chile. The free trade agreement involves 11 countries in the Pacific region: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
On December 17, 2015, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) issued its jurisdictional award in the case of tobacco giant Philip Morris against Australia over the country’s tobacco plain packaging legislation.
China signs FTAs with South Korea and Australia, conducts new round of BIT negotiation with United States
On June 1, 2015, China and South Korea signed a free trade agreement (FTA), after three years of negotiations. Later, on June 17, China entered into another landmark FTA with Australia, concluding decade-long negotiations.