Senate must block dead TPP

Jan 17, 2017: Malcolm Turnbull confirmed he would push for a vote in Parliament to ratify the TPP after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend - despite the fact that the TPP text makes it clear that the agreement can’t go ahead without support from the US.

President-elect Donald Trump has made numerous statements both before and after the US election that he will not support the TPP and is expected to announce the US’ formal withdrawal soon after his inauguration on Friday. He has also appointed trade advisors who are opposed to the TPP.

LaborThe Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team have all responded, declaring they won’t support the dead agreement. Together, they have a majority in the Senate and would be able to block the ratification of the agreement if they vote against the implementing legislation. They also have a majority on the Senate committee inquiring into the TPP which is due to report on February 7. This report is expected to recommend against proceeding with legislation that will not proceed.

AFTINET and the ACTU both released statements condemning the TPP for human rights, labour rights and environmental reasons. This criticism is not against trade itself but against unfair trade deals, and these values are the opposite of those expressed by Trump and other far right groups.


Labor leader Bill Shorten said the Coalition’s campaign for the dead TPP was "a waste of time”, and opposition trade spokesperson Jason Clare said in a statement that Turnbull’s push to implement an agreement that “will never exist” was “as stupid as knighting Prince Phillip”.

"It’s like turning up to a party that has been cancelled and dancing on your own on the front lawn, thinking it will convince the owners to put the party back on,” Mr Clare said.

"Malcolm Turnbull should stop pretending he can change Donald Trump’s mind and start working on a real plan for our economy.”

However, on January 17, when questioned by the ABC about  whether Labor would vote against the TPP implementing legislation, Mr Clare said that the Shadow Cabinet would make that decision if and when the government introduced legislation into parliament.


Greens trade spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young called on Labor and the crossbench to reject the TPP.

"It’s a disastrous deal that would only help major corporations and it should never have progressed as far as it did,” she said

"Malcolm Turnbull is delusional and wasting his time if he thinks he can revive this dodgy agreement. It would drive up costs for things like cancer medication, and leave regular Australians worse off.”

"The TPP includes ISDS clauses that would give corporations the right to sue governments. These clauses are inherently undemocratic and The Greens won't stand for them."



ACTU president Ged Kearney told the AFR the TPP could cost up to 40,000 Australian jobs.

"Prime Minister Turnbull is finding new and innovative ways to be out of touch – this time moving to ratify a trade agreement which would place the interests of corporations ahead of Australian workers and could see huge numbers of local workers lose their jobs, their livelihoods and for younger workers a decent future,” she said.

"Instead of working on a plan to put an end to rising underemployment and casualisation, or improving wage growth, or even simply trying to prevent Australia slipping into recession, the Turnbull Government is ratifying dead trade agreements."



AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald told the media community groups opposed the TPP because it gives global companies the right to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over domestic laws. It extends 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 entrenches copyright monopolies. Chapters on services reduce the ability of future governments to regulate essential services. The TPP also increases the numbers of temporary migrant workers who are vulnerable to exploitation, without testing if local workers are available. 

“We will continue to urge the majority in the Senate to block the TPP implementing legislation,” Dr Ranald said.

Take Action: ask Labor to block the dead TPP

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Send a message to Shadow Trade Minister Jason Clare now!