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Right now there are a bunch of treasury department, Canberra based bureaucrats in Europe about to sign the MAI (Multi-lateral Agreement on Investment). The MAI is the death knell for Australian sovereignty.

Posted 27th March 1999 - Australian Joint Standing Committee on Treaties final report - Conclusions and Recommendations.
24th April 1999: The new look MAI under the WTO
9th May 1999: Selling off Australia's banks through the back door
19th May 1999: MAI Mark Two
30th May 1999: MAI rolls on in a new form
30th June 1999: MAI and WTO preparations advance in Mexico and other countries
7th July 1999: Activists on Internet reshaping rules for global economy

The JSCT final report on the MAI shows quite clearly that the only people who were misinformed, ignorant and ill-educated about the treaty were:

Hanson's work at exposing MAI:

Pauline Hanson, the independent Australian federal MP for the seat of Oxley and leader of One Nation has always been at the forefront of trying to regain some of the ground that has been lost in this country to multinationals and foreigners. The links below detail the press releases, newspaper reports and publicity her intervention on this issue has created:

Email your contribution to the "stop the MAI petition" now.

Links and commentary on MAI:

Who are the top 100?

Quick links on MAI

Noel Chomsky on the MAI:

Liberalising the movements of capital worldwide has proved a powerful weapon against democracy and the social contract, much as was anticipated by the framers of the (Bretton Woods) international economic order in the 1940s. Unregulated capital flow can be used very effectively to undermine attempts by individual governments to introduce progressive measures. For instance, any country trying to stimulate its economy or increase its health spending is likely to find this deviant behaviour instantly punished by a flight of capital.

This capital mobility since the Bretton Woods system was essentially dismantled from the early 1970s has led to what some economists have called a "Virtual Senate" of financial capital that is able to decide social and economic policy just because they can shift funds around. The volume of transactions on world finance markets has grown to the point where it is now estimated in the range of $1,500 billion a day. It has also changed in character: whereas 30 years ago about 90% of foreign exchange transactions was related to the real economy (trade and long term investment), by now well over 90% of a vastly greater sum consists of short-term flows, about 80% less than a week in duration, often much shorter, speculating against currencies or exchange rate fluctuations. Markets have become increasingly volatile and less and less predictable and financial crises are occurring with increasing regularity.

Commentary and links: Sir Anthony Mason, former chief justice of the High Court on MAI:

"Fortunately the democratic deficit has been alleviated, though not eliminated. On 2 May 1996 the present Minister for Foreign Affairs, when announcing the new treaty procedures, said: “... it is vital to note that trade flows, environmental concerns, human rights, to name only a few of an interesting array of such issues, can only be effectively managed and handled through international agreement. This means that treaties, the fundamental instruments of international law, are an increasingly important component of contemporary international relations and of Australia’s own legal development”

The "ten commandments" of the MAI.

 Download the October 1997 draft of the MAI agreement (about 50 A4 pages) which Australia will sign (with minor amendments). This confidential draft document in text format is available at this link. (310k size file) You will see for yourself just what rights our Canberra bureaucrats are signing away when you print it out or view it on your computer screen...

Here are some links on MAI (starting with the MAI-NOT Project):


"The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) is an international treaty being proposed to OECD countries, with no consultation from the public. Under this agreement governments would be ruled by corporations, rather than the other way around. "The MAI was developed by the 29 countries belonging to the OECD to enable investors in multinational corporations to remove or change any legislation issued by national governments that foreign investors perceive as against their interests. The MAI contains no provision to make investors accountable to national governments. If the MAI is signed and implemented, it would establish corporations, rather than elected governments, as our final legal authority. In the words of Renato Ruggiero, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, "we are writing the constitution of a single global economy."

Quote from McMurtry on MAI:

"The MAI is the international linchpin of what is, in the end, a totalitarian project for world rule."

Quote from Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mohamad Mahathir's 1997 speech to the World Bank in Hong Kong:

"The traders apparently make billions with each transaction. But when the funds at their disposal is huge and they are in a position to influence the values of the currencies with their investments and divestments then the currency market become cash cows to them. They cannot fail to make a profit whichever way the index goes."

Quote from MAI (The Mystery MAI Treaty Negotiations):

"Negotiations are already at an advanced stage. Yet few Americans have even heard of the agreement. Trade officials are treating MAI information like nuclear secrets; the mainstream media is oblivious. Whether the MAI is adopted, and if so, just how far it s deregulatory tentacles will extend, depends on whether opponents can force the proposal from its present obscurity into the light of public debate.

"As proposed, the MAI would force countries to treat foreign investors as favourably as domestic companies; laws violating this principle would be prohibited. Under these conditions, transnational corporations would find it easier and more profitable to move investments, including production facilities, to low-wage countries.

At the same time, these countries would be denied the tools necessary to wrest benefits from such investment--like laws mandating the employment of local managers. Efforts to promote local development by earmarking subsidies for home-grown businesses and limiting foreign ownership of local resources would also be barred. If adopted, the MAI will mean foreclosure of Third World development strategies, increased job flight from industrial nations, and new pressures on countries, rich and poor, to compete for increasingly mobile investment capital by lowering environmental and labor standards. A key MAI provision could also threaten corporate accountability laws championed by progressives in the US. The MAI takes aim at statutes in any nation that link subsidies, tax breaks, and other public benefits, to corporate behaviour. This ban could be used to challenge a host of local, state, and federal measures, including laws requiring subsidise d firms to meet job-creation goals, community reinvestment rules that require banks to invest in underserved areas, and the "living wage" laws that are the focus of activist campaigns across the country.

"Perhaps most disturbing, the MAI would preempt strategies for restricting corporate flight to low-wage areas--a major cause of job loss and income stagnation in the industrialised world. On top of the damage done by plant closings and layoffs, corporations use the threat of flight to undermine the bargaining power of unions and scare policymakers away from the tough regulation and strong public investment necessary to raise living standards. Though remote from today's policy agenda, rules limiting the capacity of corporations to flee are essential to restoring the ability of government and labor to deal with corporations on a level playing field. The MAI would bar such rules in any country that is a party to the agreement.

"In its scope and enforcement mechanisms, the MAI represents a dangerous leap over past international agreements."

Another quote on MAI from another web page (MAI Treaty Conference):

"The MAI treaty is a new international economic agreement currently being negotiated at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an international body comprised of the world's 29 wealthiest nations. The MAI is designed to ease the movement of capital - both money and production facilities - across international borders by limiting the power of governments to restrict and regulate foreign investment.

"The MAI is based on the investment provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) but the MAI amplifies these provisions and, unlike NAFTA, which only applies to the U.S., Mexico and Canada, would apply them worldwide."

Some key terms for following the debate over globalization:


The Administration should negotiate a Multilateral Agreement on Investment Policy.

"The Uruguay Round Agreements established the first global rules for liberalising international investment with the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. As a result, the U.S. now has three major sets of rules for investment liberalization: the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures, the NAFTA, and the APEC Investment Principles. The U.S. is also negotiating a fourth agreement: the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). Dissatisfied with the limited scope of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures and the non-binding nature and deficiencies of the APEC Investment Principles, the U.S. and other developed countries launched negotiations through the OECD in May 1995 to draft a comprehensive, binding MAI. The finance ministers from the OECD member countries directed their negotiators to have the MAI treaty ready for signing before May 1997. The U.S. should not seek exceptions for itself to the rules for investment liberalization, and should press other OECD members to make as few exceptions as possible."

Quick Links:

A quick, who, what and where overview of the MAI
The early beginnings under the Australian Labor Party
The MAI Documents on-line
Australian related MAI articles
Australia's MIGA - the virgin son of MAI
News Limited, Australia's Trojan Horse's view on MAI
On the inside of MAI Negotiations
The enemy - MAI negotiatiors
MAI - delayed while the World Trade Organisation takes over negotiations - May 1998
Other articles of interest
Major international links on the MAI
How the Net killed the MAI - The Globe and Mail, Wednesday 29th April 1998
The MAI stirs again - from May 1998

The early beginnings under the Australian Labor Party (ALP)

In a classic case of re-writing history the ALP are now trying to blame the Coalition government for Australia's involvement in the MAI following concerns raised by Australians. The links below clearly establish that ALP Senator Gareth Evans (the great internationalist who wants to be the "President of the UN) and ALP trade minister (1995) Bob McMullan are the men who steered Australia into this secret agreement.

With links to original articles on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) web site.

Australian DFAT - Publications - INSIGHT Vol 4 No 11 - 11th July 1995

The MAI Documents

The May 1997 documents were leaked in a text format by a concerned Canadian bureaucrat to Maude Barlowe.

These were placed on the Internet in August 1997 and quickly copied through Internet links. Prior to this only idle speculation and second-hand information had been the basis of concerns raised by GWB and others on the Internet.

In February 1998, through pressure from Canada's NDP political party and after Pauline Hanson had lifted the lid on the MAI in January 1998, the Australian treasury and the OECD placed copies of the secret draft MAI treaty on the Internet for the first time in an Adobe Acrobat (graphic based) format.

The latest February 1998 MAI negotiating text - first posted 25th March 1998.

The latest February 1998 MAI negotiating text - Adobe Acrobat format.

The earlier "CONFIDENTIAL" October 1997 draft MAI agreement can be downloaded in text format.

The earlier "CONFIDENTIAL" May 1997 draft MAI agreement can be viewed in HTML format.

or A Multilateral Agreement on Investment Report by the MAI Negotiating Group May 1996.

Australian related MAI articles:

These only started appearing after Pauline Hanson publicly raised the MAI as an issue in January 1998.

The mainstream media have tried to re-write history on the source of the MAI being exposed in Australia and continue to do this.

The Great Australian Swindle - October 1996

Ms Hanson on Customs Tariff Amendment Bill

The Multilateral Agreement on Investment - full transcript of Background Briefing, 30th November 1997, by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on radio..

Since 1953 Multinationals have paid little or no tax.

Dear Prime Minister of Australia

MAI benefactors funding major Australian political parties.

Municipalities and the MAI

The response by City Councils to the MAI - 1st April 1998

Known email addresses of active Australian anti-MAI participants.

Stealthy March towards a single, global economy. "The Age" 5th February 1998

Australia's Selfhood Vanishes in the Market "The Age" 7th February 1998

Potential of Treaty deserves a hearing "The Age" 9th February 1998

Opening Melbourne Convention - Sir Anthony Mason - 2nd March 1998

ABC Lateline report on MAI 10.30pm Tuesday 3rd March 1998

Treaty xenophobia - Sydney Morning Herald, 7th March 1998

Trade pact won’t bar local control of Telstra - Rod Kemp, 22nd March 1998

Scott Balson (SB) on the ABC’s 4QR responding to Peter Charlton (News Limited’s Courier Mail) comments on the MAI. - 24th March 1998

The MAI and ‘globalisation’ - Graham Strachan, 25th March 1998

No secrecy about MAI - Bill Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties 27th March 1998

Lies and the MAI - by Graham Strachan, 1st April 1998

Letter to the Prime Minister - an act of treason - Charles Connolly, 10th April 1998

The Multilateral Agreement on Investment faces indefinite postponement - 25th April 1998



MAI- the Canadian debate Australians have been "protected" from.

Explain the MAI treaty Sydney Morning Herald - 8th May 1998

Australia's MIGA - the virgin son of MAI:

MIGA is the son of MAI - a treaty signed with the intent of introducing a single global currency (called SDRs - special drawing rights), but a treaty in waiting as the signing of the MAI is delayed.

Uncovered on the Internet by Scott Balson - 24th April 1998

The Bill as approved by Australia, and signed by Costello - 12th May 1998

News Limited, Australia's Trojan Horse's view on MAI:

Owned and operated by an American, Rupert Murdoch, this monopolistic media empire is a scourge on Australia's democracy and freedom.

The MAI explained - Courier Mail, 21st March 1998

Conspiracy theories - The Courier Mail, Saturday 21st March 1998

The MAI no conspiracy theory Right of reply to "The Courier Mail" faxed 22nd March 1998 (NOT PUBLISHED YET)

Gurus of Gloom - The Courier Mail, Saturday 28th March 1998

Dealing with the New World Order - The Courier Mail, Monday 6th April 1998

How ethical are journalists allowed to be?

On the inside of MAI Negotiations

What actually happens on the inside - first hand perspectives on some of the meetings.


MAI Treaty Conference

February 16 and 17 high level MAI negotiating session

The MAI stirs again - from May 1998

In late May 1998 the secretary-general of the Paris-based OECD, Donald Johnson, said that ratification of the multilateral agreement on investment will go ahead..

Investment deal will go ahead: Johnston

The enemy - MAI negotiatiors

The Australian bureaucrats do not represent the interests of Australians. They represent the interests of multinationals. One can only speculate why.

OECD official home page on MAI

More on George Soros - the IMF and big money

The power of the New World Order by an Israeli journalist

MAI - delayed while the World Trade Organisation takes over negotiations


Other articles of interest


Welcome to the Third World Network (TWN).

MAI: An International Human Rights Crisis - November 1997


The MAI moves closer to agreement - 3rd February 1998.


When Corporations Rule the World

Consensus Builds Against IMF Austerity

Globalization of Trade -- Maintaining Canada's Federation under the Constitution and the Charter of Rights - March 1998

The MAI - proof why it is a secret treaty exposed. - 27th March 1998

Global investment pact on ropes - 30th March 1998

City of Toronto opposes the MAI - 19th April 1998

The treaty of Waitangi - New Zealand. - 24th April 1998.

An alternative to the MAI - 17th May 1998

Major International Links on MAI

The most comprehensive resource of Multilateral Agreement on Investment links is now available in Canada.

Here is a set of New Zealand links on MAI.

Return to the FSIA and the MAI