US TPP Report shows zero Australian economic growth

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released a report that assesses how much economic growth each TPP country would see if the TPP were to slash all tariffs (taxes on imports) to zero and remove all other import restrictions.  The report acknowledges that this is the most favourable assumption, and not likely to be achieved.

The report found that, under this unlikely best case scenario, while there would be increases in agricultural trade between some TPP countries, the overall effect on economic growth would be zero for a number of countries, including Australia.

A table on p. 21  shows the TPP would result in a GDP change of 0.00 percent for Australia, Canada, Chile, Peru, Singapore, and the United States after 10 years. For Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Mexico, the projected gain is tiny– 0.01 or 0.02 percentage points. Vietnam is projected to get the biggest GDP boost at a mere one tenth of one percent.

The study did not attempt to assess the economic effects of the deal’s non-tariff provisions, some of which, like higher medicine prices and higher copyright costs, could be negative in Australia. The report’s understated conclusion is that “The TPP is unlikely to have substantial macro-economic effects”.

In other words .our government may be agreeing to the right of foreign investors to sue governments over changes to domestic law, higher medicine prices, higher copyright costs and much more for an economic growth potential of precisely zero.