Fair trade group welcomes Senate deferral of TPP legislation, but calls for rejection

“The Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network of 60 community organisations welcomes the conclusion of the ALP members of the Senate inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that the implementing legislation should not proceed but be deferred,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. 

“However we believe that the TPP is not in Australia’s interest and the Australian Parliament should not approve the implementing legislation either now or in the future,” said Dr Ranald.

“The Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team have substantively rejected the TPP in their separate reports. All three reports also recommended changes to the current secretive and undemocratic trade process.

“Together these reports confirm that the TPP cannot come into force without US participation, and the ALP report confirms that that ‘it would be unproductive for the Australian Government to commit resources to passing implementing legislation’. The reports also expose the fundamental flaws that made it a bad deal for Australia,” said Dr Ranald.

Dr Ranald said community groups opposed the TPP because it gave global companies the right to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over domestic laws. It extended monopolies on biologic medicines for an additional three years, delaying cheaper versions of those medicines, which would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year. It also entrenched copyright monopolies. Chapters on services reduced the ability of future governments to regulate essential services. The TPP also increased the numbers of temporary migrant workers who are vulnerable to exploitation, without testing if local workers are available.

“This should mean that the flawed TPP is not used as a model for other trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between Australia, NZ, China, India, Japan, Korea, and the ten ASEAN countries.

“We need a more open and democratic trade process that delivers benefits for all Australians and does not prevent governments from regulating in the public interest,” said Dr Ranald.

Contact Dr Patricia Ranald 0419 695 841

Dr Patricia Ranald

Convener, Australian FairTrade and Investment Network

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