Community groups urge Labor say no to TPP-11 as unions protest at ALP event in Sydney today
Media Release - 10 October 2018
“The failure of the majority in the Labor Parliamentary caucus to implement Labor policy against the TPP is still being heavily contested within the ALP, as shown by the protest organised today by unions at Bill Shorten’s fundraising event in Sydney”, AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
“The government-dominated Senate legislation committee is expected today to recommend in favour of the TPP-11 implementing legislation, with critical remarks from Labor and a dissenting report from the Greens. The TPP-11 implementing legislation is likely to come before the Senate after October 16 when the Committee report will be tabled in Parliament,”
“AFTINET continues to advocate that the TPP-11 should not be implemented because it includes the following provisions which contradict Labor policy:
- special legal rights for foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments in unfair international tribunals if they can argue that a change in law or policy harmed their investment, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
- Increases in the numbers of vulnerable temporary migrant workers from TPP countries without first testing if local workers are available.
- Lack of enforceable labour rights and environmental standards. The chapters on labour and environment are weak and not legally enforceable in the same way as other chapters in the agreement” said Dr Ranald.
“We welcome Labor’s pledge that it would not include ISDS and removal of labour market testing in future trade agreements and would attempt to negotiate changes to the TPP 11 if it wins government. But in practice a future Labor government, having endorsed the implementation of the TPP-11 in opposition, would have less bargaining power to negotiate such changes with the other 10 governments once the deal is implemented,” said Dr Ranald.
“We call on Labor to join with the Greens, Centre Alliance and other cross-benchers to form a majority to refuse to pass the implementing legislation unless changes to the above provisions are negotiated.”
Contact Dr Patricia Ranald 0419 695 841