Make a submission to the TPP Senate inquiry

***Submissions to this inquiry are now CLOSED***

Read AFTINET’s submission to the Senate inquiry into the TPP (October 2016)

The Senate inquiry into the TPP is now calling for submissions from organisations and individuals. The Government does not have a majority in the Senate.

This is an opportunity to make your voice is heard in the Senate, where Labor, the Greens and NXT have a majority and could block the TPP’s implementing legislation.

The Senate inquiry will be more critical than the Parliamentary inquiry, which is dominated by the government and is currently holding hearings around the country. Even if you made a submission to this inquiry earlier this year, it’s important to make a submission to the Senate inquiry too.

Please email your submission to by the 28th of October, with your full postal address and contact details included in the email.


Key points:

Your submission doesn’t have to be long, but it should be in your own words. Here are some points you can make:

Rights for global corporations to sue governments (ISDS)

  • the TPP contains special rights for multinational corporations to sue governments over new laws in international tribunals which have no independent judiciary, no precedents and no appeals.
  • there have been increasing numbers of cases against health, environment and other public interest laws
  • Cases against tobacco regulation can be excluded, but ‘safeguards’ for other health, environment, labour rights and public interest regulation are weak and will not prevent future cases. 
  • even if a government wins a case, just defending it can take years and cost tens of millions of dollars in legal fees. The Philip Morris tobacco case against Australia took over four years and cost $50 million.

More expensive medicines

  • The TPP locks in stronger monopoly rights for pharmaceutical companies and will delay access to cheaper versions of expensive biologics medicines, used to treat serious diseases like cancer
  • This could cost our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme hundreds of millions of dollars a year for every year of delay
  • Millions of people in developing countries will have delayed access to the cheaper medicines they need

Labour rights are weak and not enforceable

  • Labour rights in the TPP are weak - governments commit only to enforcing their own labour laws and recognised  international standards are not enforceable
  • Not all workers are protected and the products of child labour or slave labour are not banned
  • the TPP allows increased numbers of temporary migrant workers, which will create more exploitation as seen in 7-Eleven stores and other industries without testing if local workers are available

 Environmental standards not enforceable

  • Environmental standards are weak - international environmental agreements are mentioned, but only one is enforceable
  • There is no mention of climate change
  • The lack of enforceability contrasts with rights of international corporations to sue governments if they take future action to protect the environment or implement the outcomes of the Paris agreement on climate change

Lack of scrutiny

  • There have been no independent studies of the impact of the TPP on Australians
  • The government’s National Interest Assessment is done by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which negotiated the agreement. This is not an independent assessment.
  • A World Bank study has estimated that the TPP will result in a tiny 0.7% growth in the Australian economy after 15 years.

Further detail:

For more in-depth information on each of these topics please see AFTINET’s March 2016 submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) inquiry here.

Want to do more?

If you've already made a submission and want to take further action, you can also visit your MP or Labor Senator. Here's how.