Hockey lobbying of US Congress shows TPP flaws

May 25, 2016: “Reports of Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey’s desperate attempts to lobby the U.S. Congress to support the TPP beg the question of why the Australian government should be supporting it,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.US bipartisan opposition to the TPP is now so strong that the US is now getting other governments to lobby its own Congress. There is something wrong with this picture.”

“Most US Democrats oppose the TPP for the same reasons that most Australians do, because it is not really about trade. Instead, it gives stronger monopolies to pharmaceutical companies to delay access to cheaper medicines, and gives all global corporations special rights to bypass national courts and sue governments for billions of dollars over domestic legislation, even if it is in the public interest. These monopoly rights are the opposite of free trade,” said Dr Ranald.

“Republicans want even more rights for pharmaceutical and other corporations, and have demanded such changes in return for supporting the legislation. And a recent Congressional economic study has revealed that the TPP will deliver hardly any US growth or jobs, just as a World Bank study  has shown the same result for Australia.

Ambassador Hockey says US failure to ratify the TPP will “harm its credibility”. He should instead be asking about the credibility of the Australian government in its support for the TPP. The Productivity Commission has condemned TPP provisions for investor rights to sue governments and recently confirmed that stronger monopolies on medicines in the TPP will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year,“ said Dr Ranald.

The TPP implementing legislation will come before the Australian Parliament after the elections, and the TPP should be part of the election debate. We call on all political parties to declare their policies on the TPP so voters can judge for themselves.”

read the full release here.