Jun 18, 2008

Australia Keen On CER Investment Treaty

Fran O'Sullivan writes today on the welcome news that the Rudd Government is keen on finishing off CER's unfinished business - investment. This is great news. But what disconcerts us is this

But other signals given during the forum - which was held under Chatham House rules - suggest a measure of impatience had been built-up on the Australian side over the length of time it has taken Wellington to respond to prior approaches and the clear view that domestic political concerns had got in the way.
Cullen has been sitting on this issue since October 2006 - the date the previous Australian Liberal Government lobbed in its own "offer" to match the investment threshold provisions in its free trade deal with the United States. Under the US-Australia FTA, US investors enjoy (in most circumstances) the right to establish, acquire and operate investments in Australia on an equal footing with local investors and those of other countries.

This is a worry as New Zealand was the side that was pushing for an investment treaty for many years, but Australia was reluctant. If we have the opportunity to secure this now we should be taking it.