August 19, 2022: The interim IACEPA was negotiated under the previous government in haste and without consultation with civil society organisations.. Some of its provisions are not consistent with the current government’s policy. The interim agreement contains only 14 chapters out of a possible 20 or 30 chapters and commits to negotiations for a comprehensive agreement which would include further chapters.
However the government is proceeding with the very limited Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) review process for the Indian and UK agreements which were signed by the previous government before the election. AFTINET raised the process issues in our submission on the UK FTA and will raise them in our submission on the India FTA.
July 20, 2022 :New polling commissioned by UK groups Trade Justice Movement and Global Justice Now has found that 78 per cent of Britons want MPs to debate the pros and cons of new trade deals before they come into force. The House of Commons trade committee has requested the Trade Minister for a full debate before ratification, and criticised its inability to scrutinise the deal properly. This followed an independent report from the Trade and Agriculture Commission confirming that the trade deal will affect employment in the farm and food sectors and could lower environmental, food safety, and animal welfare standards.
7 July 2022: Trade justice activists in Sydney came together this week at a Politics in the Pub event to discuss the prospects of progressing a trade justice agenda under the new Labor government.
1 June, 2022: The newly appointed Minister for Trade, Senator Don Farrell, and the Assistant Minister, Senator Tim Ayers, have a mandate for the reform of Australia’s secretive trade negotiation process to ensure transparency and accountability.
18 May, 2022: AFTINET Convenor, Dr Patricia Ranald, has written a critical analysis in the Australian Outlook of the party policies on trade during the 2022 federal election.
May 17, 2022: In our election forum on trade justice, we introduced our scorecard on the track record of political parties on trade justice. Speakers examined how trade deals can help or hinder the next government in recovering from the COVID19 pandemic and decarbonising the economy.