Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a massive free trade agreement involving Australia, the US and ten other countries, which reduces our democratic rights while increasing the rights of global corporations. 

The TPP is bad for:

  • Democracy. It allows global corporations to sue governments over health, environment and public interest laws. Read more.
  • Health. Medicines will be more expensive because of stronger monopoly rights for pharmaceutical companies to charge higher prices for longer. Read more.
  • Workers. Contains no real protection for labour rights or migrant workers, and removes labour market testing. Read more.
  • The environment. Lacks enforceable commitments to key international agreements, does not mention climate change and allows corporations to sue over new environmental laws. Read more.
  • Internet users. Locks in strong rights for copyright holders at the expense of consumers and internet users. Read more.

Despite all the downsides of the deal, economists and the World Bank predict few benefits for Australia. 

The Turnbull Government will try to rush the TPP’s implementing legislation through Parliament this year, to pave the way for Australia to ratify the agreement. But Labor, Greens and independent representatives could block the deal by voting against its implementing legislation in the Senate. 

For all the latest news on the TPP, follow this link.

For in-depth analysis and resources, including AFTINET’s JSCOT submission and our printable TPP flyer, click here. 


TPP critics oppose monopolies and increased corporate rights, not trade itself

11 August 2016

Donald Trump, like Pauline Hanson in Australia, combines anti-immigration rhetoric with disillusionment with previous trade deals which have not delivered on exaggerated promises of jobs and growth. But it is too easy to dismiss all Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement critics as protectionist or anti-trade, writes Dr Patricia Ranald for Fairfax media today. Read the full article here.

TPP going too far for marginal economic gains says Tim Harcourt

August 2, 2016

UNSW economist Dr Tim Harcourt, former chief economist of the Australian Trade Commission, told The New Daily that, in some ways, the TPP is an example of free trade "going too far".

He gave the example of its protections for cross-border investment and the right for multi-national companies to sue governments in courts of arbitration if they enacted legislation that hurts their commercial interests - such as Australia's plain packaged tobacco.

Indonesia FTA and TiSA now top priorities

1 August 2016

With the TPP looking even less likely to pass through US Congress after the Democratic National Convention last week, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo appears to be setting his sights on other trade deals.

He has changed his rhetoric around the TPP, telling the AFR today: "We don't put all our eggs in one basket. The TPP isn't the be-all and end-all of free trade.” 

Privatisation creates unregulated monopolies: ACCC chairman

28 July 2016

Privatisation, deregulation and unbounded trade liberalisation are key pillars of the neoliberal economic agenda. This agenda is increasingly being questioned on both sides of politics. So-called FTAs regularly include competition, investment and procurement chapters which push for privatisation.

Most recently, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims - a longtime proponent of privatisation - is now saying "stop the privatisation". Read the full article here.

TPP provisions 'questionable', says Productivity Commission

26 July 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has provisions of “questionable benefit”, says the Productivity Commission, citing the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause allowing foreign corporations to sue the Australian government if they think the government has introduced or changed laws that hurt their commercial interests.

In its annual trade and assistance review, the Productivity Commission also expressed concern about term of copyright and noted the fact that the deal's future in the US is uncertain.

Read the full article in The Guardian here.