CPTPP (previously TPP)

Comprehensive and Porgressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Hostile Environment: TPP Green Chapter “Virtually Meaningless”

The draft text of the environment chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a Chair's report were released by Wikileaks last week. Michael Safi writes for the Global Mail about the leaks, reporting that the environmental protections it does contain are "virtually meaningless", that many disagreements still remain, and that Australia and the United States are the only countries of the 12 negotiating the agreement to object to an article dealing with climate change.

Philip Morris, Australia and the fate of Europe’s trade talks

The Philip Morris tobacco company is trying to use investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses in an obscure 1993 Australia-Kong Kong investment agreement to sue the government for damages in an international tribunal over the tobacco plain packaging legislation.

James Panichi reports that this case has disrupted trade talks between the United States and Europe as it calls into question the inclusion of ISDS clauses. Read the article on Inside Story.

Secrecy of negotiations

The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations have been widely criticised for their secrecy. Under the current process,  the details of the deal were kept secret until after the text was agreed, and Cabinet, not Parliament makes the decision to sign the agreement. Parliament does not get to vote on the whole text,  only on the implementing legislation.

For more information, see our explanation of the Australian process for trade agreements, and the Report of the Senate Inquiry into the trade agreement process, aptly called Blind Agreement.