Parliamentary Inquiry on the Australia-India interim trade agreement: submissions and inquiry delayed until after election on May 21

April 11, 2022: The interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AIECTA) was announced on April 1 to selected media and the good news about increased agricultural exports was in the  media before the text was signed and publicly released late on April 2.  See AFTINET’s initial media release which criticised the secrecy of the process and the lack of parliamentary scrutiny until after the election. It was quoted in The Guardian, SBS News, Canberra Times, MSN News and many regional papers.

The interim text has only 14 chapters compared with the usual 20-30 chapters in other agreements. They include chapters on trade in goods, services, quarantine, movement of people and state-to state dispute settlement.

There are no chapters on labour rights and environmental standards, and these are unlikely to be included in future negotiations as India has never agreed to them.

There is a commitment to resume negotiations for a comprehensive agreement in three months, after the election.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) had announced an Inquiry but  public submissions are now suspended until after the election on May 21 

AFTINET will analyse the text and make a detailed submission.