Parliamentary inquiry into the trade agreement process

July 8, 2020: This inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is the result of negotiations between the ALP and the government about passing the enabling legislation for the Indonesia FTA.

The terms of reference are broad enough for a public debate about the secrecy of trade negotiations, the lack of independent assessment of trade deals and the need for change. 

The Committee invites submissions addressing the terms of reference for the inquiry by Friday, 31 July 2020 to jsct@aph.gov.au.

Terms of Reference

  • considering the role of JSCOT in respect of trade-related agreements, including during the negotiation phase;
  • considering the consultation process undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) before and during the negotiation of trade agreements;
  • considering the effectiveness of independent analysis to inform negotiation or consideration of trade agreements; and
  • reviewing the process around the categorisation of treaty actions.

We encourage organisations and individuals to make submissions. A one-page summary of points about the current secretive process, international precedents for more open processes, and possible changes is here and attached below.

AFTINET will do a submission and circulate it to members for comment in the third week of July.