Australia and China Signed a New Free Trade Agreement
Australian trade and investment minister Andrew Robb and Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng signed the FTA in Canberra on 17 June 2015.
The FTA includes an investment chapter that provides for pre-establishment national treatment and MFN commitments, establishes a committee on investment and provides for ISDS.
The parties have also agreed to negotiate a more comprehensive investment chapter that shall cover the minimum standard of treatment; expropriation; transfers; performance requirements; senior management and board of directors; investment-specific State to State dispute settlement; and the application of investment protections and ISDS to services supplied through commercial presence. The two countries also agreed to consider the establishment of the appellate mechanism with a function to review the ISDS awards rendered under the FTA on questions of law.
Australia and China already have a bilateral investment treaty in place (entered into force in 1988); its provisions remain unaffected by the newly concluded FTA. Both countries are also involved in the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, an FTA that will presumably include the ten ASEAN Member States and six other countries and that is also expected to have an investment chapter. These negotiations remain ongoing.