TOPIC: TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
Labor will closely scrutinise the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) following the Turnbull Government’s tabling of the text of the agreement and the accompanying National Interest Analysis in Parliament today.
The TPP is a trade agreement between 12 countries from around the Asia-Pacific which account for about 40 per cent of the global economy.
The TPP has the potential to increase Australian market access for our goods and services exports which, in turn, will benefit the local economy and create jobs.
The agreement contains some progressive measures such as commitments to tackle environmental challenges like illegal logging, unsustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation and requirements for TPP countries to adopt core labour standards such as workers’ rights to organise and decent minimum wage regulation.
It would also contribute to economic development and improved living standards in some of the poorest countries in our region.
However Labor has concerns about a number of aspects of the TPP including the inclusion of Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions.
We have also insisted that the TPP must not affect the cost or availability of medicines for Australians or have adverse impacts on local job opportunities.
The TPP will now be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for inquiry which will allow members of the public and stakeholders to have their say.
Labor will use Parliamentary processes to rigorously scrutinise the agreement to ensure it lives up to the Government’s claims.