6 July 2016
“One thing that is certain after Saturday’s election, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead, and along with it the Coalition’s economic agenda and narrative,” writes The Australia Institute’s Richard Denniss in New Matilda.
He predicts that the new cross-bench Senators, including Nick Xenophon, Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson will oppose the TPP and other free trade deals because they cost Australian manufacturing workers jobs. Read his piece here.
If the Coalition does form Government, the votes of these Senators will be needed to pass legislation when Labor and the Greens are opposed. We know that the Greens and most other cross-benchers will vote against the TPP implementing legislation. The TPP also contradicts Labor policy, but they have not yet made a decision about the TPP legislation.
Denniss is optimistic that it’s unlikely that Labor will “pivot to the right” on economic management after Shorten’s shock success. He argues:
“So while in theory the ALP could offer the Coalition a lifeline for the ratification of its trade deals, the reality is that such a display of bipartisan contempt for the public’s hostility to trickle-down trade policies would be of even greater benefit to the new cross benchers than Turnbull’s decision to both change the Senate voting rules and call a DD.”
AFTINET has shown TPP’s many downsides for workers’ rights, public health and democracy. But we can’t be complacent, and need to keep up pressure for Labor to vote against the TPP’s implementing legislation.