AFTINET remains opposed to the TPP-11 but welcomes ALP Bill for fairer future trade deals
15 October 2018: “AFTINET welcome the pledges for progressive changes to future trade policy in shadow Trade Minister Jason Clare’s Bill announced today, as the TPP-11 implementing legislation is being debated by the Senate. However we remain opposed to theTPP-11 because it restricts the right of future governments to regulate in the public interest and contains:
- 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);
- increased numbers of vulnerable temporary migrant workers from six TPP countries without first testing if local workers are available; and
- weak and unenforceable 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” AFTINET Convener, Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
"We remain deeply disappointed that the ALP Caucus majority decided to support the TPP-11 implementing legislation"
“We welcome the pledge that Labor will attempt to remove ISDS and reinstate labour market testing for temporary workers in 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, and changes will be difficult to achieve,” said Dr Ranald.
“We welcome the Bill’s provisions for future trade agreements to ban ISDS and ban the removal of labour market testing for temporary workers, and to include fully enforceable labour rights. We also welcome pledges previously made to improve the transparency of trade negotiations, to publish negotiating texts and final texts of future trade agreements before they are signed, and for independent assessment of their impacts. These are changes long advocated by many community organisations,” said Dr Ranald.
Contact Dr Patricia Ranald 0419 695 841