Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
TheTrans-Pacific Partnership (now the TPP-11) was originally 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 US withdrew in 2017, and it became the TPP-11, with some changes, but most of its worst features remain.
The TPP-11 is bad bad for:
- Democracy. It allows global corporations to sue governments over health, environment and public interest laws. Read more.
- Essential services: locks in deregulation, promotes privatisation and prevents future governments from regulating in the public interest, Read more
- Workers. Contains no real protection for labour rights or migrant workers, and removes labour market testing for vulnerable temporary migrant workers. 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.
After six years of community campaigning, the withdrawal of the US in January 2017 meant the TPP could not be implemented.
The Turnbull Government threatened to rush the TPP’s implementing legislation through Parliament to get approval for a dead agreement. A Senate inquiry report said no to the implementing legislation in February 2017.
TPP-11 rebadged as the CPTPP in 2018
But Japan and Australia led the pushed for a revived TPP-11 without the US. In November 2017 TPP -11 negotiators rebadged the deal as the Comprehensive Progressive TPP (CPTPP) and suspended some of its most controversial clauses, (but not ISDS). The text was tabled in Parliament on March 26, 2018, triggering a Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Parliamentary Inquiry. Community campaigning also resulted in a Senate Inquiry before parliament votes on the implementing legislation in September.
For in-depth analysis and resources, including AFTINET’s submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiries, click here.
Updated: July 2018
August 15, 2018: Professor K S Jomo, a member of new Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Council of Eminent Persons, has publicly called for the new government to decline to ratify the TPP-11, officially titled the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
August 14, 2018: A recent study published by the Columbia University Centre for Sustainable Investment evaluates the costs and benefits for states of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in trade and investment agreements. It concludes that expected benefits in terms of increased levels of foreign investment have not clearly materialized, whereas the costs have been unexpectedly high.
August 9, 2018: The Canadian mining company Bear Creek recently won an ISDS case against Peru and was awarded US$37 million in compensation and costs. The government had refused a mining license because the company had not sought full and informed consent from indigenous people, resulting in mass protests against the mine in 2011. AFTINET has been using this case as an example of how ISDS can undermine indigenous rights.
Following the US withdrawal from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-12), a rebadged version of the agreement has emerged, known as the TPP-11. The TPP-11 suspends, but does not delete, some of the worst clauses on longer monopolies on biologic medicines, but these could be resurrected if the US returns to the agreement. The TPP-11 still contains the following provisions, all of which contradict Labor’s Trade Policy Platform:
Media Release: July 30, 2018: “AFTINET will present evidence today to a Senate inquiry that the TPP-11 increases corporate rights at the expense of people’s rights and the environment and should not be implemented,” AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.
July 25, 2018: The US Trump administration is escalating its America First strategy of using its power as the world’s strongest economy to get more benefits for US corporations from individual trading partners, in the hope of domestic political advantage in the mid-term Congressional elections due in November 2018. But there are long-term consequences for the global economy and the global trading system.
July 16, 2018: AFTINET has previously reported on decisions in 2017 and 2018 by the European Court of Justice which found that foreign investor rights to sue governments in international tribunals (ISDS) was incompatible with national sovereignty and EU law. This means the European Parliament cannot decided to ratify agreements containing ISDS, and that each national government has to vote on ratification of agreements if they contain ISDS. These decisions followed strong European public opposition to ISDS.
July 9, 2018: Canadian union leader Lana Payne, from the manufacturing union Unifor, has blasted the Canadian government for its claim that the Trans-Pacific Partnership – 11 is more “progressive” than the original TPP-12. Payne honed in on the labour chapter, which she argues is even weaker than in the original TPP-12, to make her point.