Business Spectator, Australia
Business demands sovereign risk protection in FTAs
9 August 2012
The Gillard government’s refusal to reconsider its decision not to demand sovereign risk protection for Australian companies in free-trade agreements has been met with loud objections from leading business groups who say such provisions are vital to international trade, according to The Australian Financial Review.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has led an intensive lobbying campaign by the business community to urge the government to include so-called investor dispute settlement provisions in free-trade agreements.
However, on Wednesday, Trade Minister Craig Emerson warned that such a move would risk derailing future free-trade negotiations.
“These organisations are entitles to their view, as is the government,” Dr Emerson said, according to the AFR.
“I discussed this issue with ACCI and other business groups when formulating the trade policy statement last year and no concerns were raised. Concluding trade deals is difficult enough in the present global environment without ACCI and others making ever-increasing demands as to their content.”