A TPP without the US would lock in all the deal’s most damaging and politically controversial clauses on stronger medicine and copyright monopolies and investor rights to sue governments while delivering almost no additional market access, AFTINET Convener Patricia Ranald said today.
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo confirmed that Australia will take a leading role in efforts to revive the TPP minus the US as TPP officials met in Toronto, Canada this week to discuss the deal’s future.
Dr Ranald questioned why Australia would invest time and resources on a failed deal which would lock in damaging rules while delivering no benefit for Australians or the economy.
“Even with the US involved, the market access benefits the TPP was predicted to deliver to Australia were negligible.
“The TPP was about increasing rights for global corporations at the expense of peoples’ rights. It failed because of the overwhelming community opposition it generated in the US, Australia and almost all TPP countries. An Australian Senate inquiry rejected the deal’s implementing legislation.
“Minister Ciobo is wasting his time trying to revive the dead deal which benefits some corporations but not most Australians.”
Minister Ciobo also said the TPP could be revived with a ‘tweak’ to the current text to remove the US. But Dr Ranald said bringing the TPP back from the dead was not quite that simple.
“At a minimum, the current TPP text requires US participation and would need to be changed to proceed. Many other side letters and specific references to the US would have to be removed. This means any revived TPP would become an entirely new agreement and would have to go through parliamentary processes again in each country.
“Some TPP countries only agreed to stronger medicine monopolies and investor rights to sue governments to get access to US markets. Without this, they will want to renegotiate the whole deal.”
Dr Ranald urged the Australian Government to abandon the TPP and focus on developing fair trade alternatives.
“Minister Ciobo should accept that the TPP has failed and reject any revival of its corporate agenda.
“Instead, Australia should embrace the opportunity for a fairer trade future which puts people and the planet first.”
Contact Dr Patricia Ranald 0419 695 841