JSCOT report backs TPP-11, Labor critical but community groups call for the Senate to say no

Media Release, August 22, 2018

“The report of the Government-dominated Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has predictably recommended the endorsement of the TPP-11 implementing legislation,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

“However, ALP committee members made the following critical comments: (pp 85-95)

  • Insufficient information to stakeholders and parliament before the TPP-11 was signed
  • No independent analysis of the costs and benefits of the TPP-11
  • The inclusion in the TPP-11 of ISDS provisions which permit foreign corporations to bypass national courts and to sue governments in international tribunals over changes to domestic laws leave Australia vulnerable to lengthy legal disputes with foreign corporations. Labor will not agree to ISDS provisions in new trade agreements and will seek to remove these provisions from existing trade agreements.
  • Labor is opposed to the removal of labour market testing for temporary contractual service providers covering over 450 trades and professions from TPP-11 countries which would mean an increase in temporary migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation without first testing if local workers were available.

“The ALP critical comments reflect the strong opposition to the TPP-11 from the majority of substantial submissions from a wide range of community organisations and academic experts, and over 1200 individual short messages,” said Dr Ranald. “These included public health groups, unions, environment groups, aid and development organisations and retirees. These groups urged the committee to oppose the implementing legislation.”

AFTINET represents over 60 community groups which opposed the TPP-11. They successfully lobbied for a Senate inquiry on the TPP-11 that will report on September 18, 2018.

“The Opposition and minor parties have a majority on the Senate inquiry. We hope its report on September 18 will be a more independent and critical assessment of the TPP-11 and will recommend against the implementing legislation,” said Dr Ranald.

“We will be urging the Senate to block the TPP-11 implementing legislation.”  

Download pdf here.