Labor's Trade Policy: Towards Trade Justice?
7 July 2022: Trade justice activists in Sydney came together this week at a Politics in the Pub event to discuss the prospects of progressing a trade justice agenda under the new Labor government.
Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convenor, told the audience that the labour movement and civil society groups have influenced new Labor government to adopt a more transparent and progressive trade policy that would benefit people and the planet, which it now has a chance to implement. But the new government will face conservative pressures from corporate lobbying. The growing strategic competition between the US and China is also influencing deals with defence partners in AUKUS and the Quad like the UK and India.
Steve Murphy, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) National Secretary, told the audience that “We need to reframe trade to be a lever to progress our national ambitions, but also to be a lever to deliver justice to working class people all around the world.”
“That is the job in front of Labor…. [Labor representatives] now have a responsibility to us to go forward to legislate and enforce that agenda.”
“It is going to be our discipline that will hold Labor to those promises, and that holds Labor to not trade off when business throws everything it has to keep things the same.”