Trump election means TPP demise likely but not certain
MEDIA RELEASE, November 10, 2016: The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the US makes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) less likely but does not guarantee the deal is dead, Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
The TPP could still pass in a lame duck session of the US Congress held before Trump is sworn in to office in late January 2017.
“Donald Trump has been elected on policies that discriminate on the basis of race, religion and gender, and he rejects the urgent need for government action on climate change. Despite his anti-establishment rhetoric, his policies for deregulation, business tax cuts and savage spending cuts will benefit the rich and make inequality worse. These policies are the opposite of our aims for a fair trade system based on human rights labour rights and environmental sustainability,” said Dr Ranald.
Dr Ranald said that Trump has mobilised the disillusionment of many people with trade agreements like the TPP which have not delivered on exaggerated promises of jobs and growth, but instead resulted in job losses. These are valid criticisms.
“Community groups in both the US and Australia also oppose the TPP because it gives more rights to global corporations but makes it harder for governments to regulate them in the public interest. It gives global companies the right to bypass national courts and sue governments in unfair international tribunals, makes medicines more expensive, increases the numbers of temporary migrant workers who are vulnerable to exploitation and makes it harder for governments to regulate to prevent climate change. No TPP government has yet passed the legislation to implement it,” said Dr Ranald.
Dr Ranald said that the only good news from the Trump election is that the TPP may not happen. It cannot proceed if the US, as the largest economy, does not endorse it. But there is still a danger that the current lame duck US Congress, which can sit until Trump takes office in January, could support it. The Obama administration is still lobbying for this and Prime Minister Turnbull is still urging the US Congress to support it.
“There is an Australian Senate inquiry into the TPP, and the TPP can be defeated if the ALP and minor parties in the Senate vote against the implementing legislation. We will continue to advocate against the TPP until it is definitively defeated either here or elsewhere,” said Dr Ranald.