Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Negotiations for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IACEPA) began in 2016 and the agreement was signed on March 4, 2019. Major issues include ISDS (rights for foreign corporations to sue governments) and increased numbers of temporary migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation. The enabling legislation for the agreement was passed by the Parliament in October 2019 and the agreement has been ratified by Australia. As of January 2020, the Indonesian Parliament was still considering ratification.

Indonesia FTA and TiSA now top priorities

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.” 
Indonesia and TiSA now top priorities

Govt focuses on Indonesia trade deal despite trade deficit jump

3 August 2016

An FTA with Indonesia is on track to be completed within 18 months and it remains Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s first priority, according to media reports today.

This announcement by Minister Ciobo comes as the latest trade deficit figures were released, finding that the widening of Australia’s trade deficit continues unabated, and showing that the Government's rhetoric that trade agreements are mainly about increased exports can not be taken at face value.

Other deals replace TPP as top Australian government priority

15 August 2016

In light of fading TPP prospects, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo is now setting his sights on other trade deals.

He has changed his rhetoric on the TPP, telling the AFR, "We don't put all our eggs in one basket. The TPP isn't the be-all and end-all of free trade.” 
Indonesia and TiSA now top priorities

Mr Ciobo recently travelled to Indonesia for a round of bilateral trade talks and says the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is now the first priority of the Government’s free trade agenda. 

Discoveries of imported asbestos as govt negotiates Indonesia deal

29 August 2016

More discoveries of dangerous imported Chinese asbestos in SA buildings have highlighted the need for greater controls to prevent workers from being exposed to the deadly substance.

ABC political reporter Angelique Donnellan writes that we will never know how much foreign asbestos is in the country undetected and will remain hidden. She writes: "It shouldn't have come to this. Imports of asbestos were banned in 2003. The fact it is here means either the laws aren't being enforced, or they are being deliberately flouted.”

FTA with Indonesia as early as August

28 February 2017: The Australian Government is pushing to finish negotiations for the free trade deal with Indonesia “as early as August” according to news reports over the weekend.

While business groups are directly involved, there has been little communication with community groups like AFTINET and negotiating texts remain secret. Our main concerns are that the agreement could potentially include TPP-like proposals on medicine monopolies, ISDS and an increase in access for temporary workers in Australia, who are vulnerable to exploitation.

Indonesia pushes for Australia to import more palm oil and paper

March 6, 2017: Indonesia is pushing for Australia to import more palm oil and paper products as negotiations for a bilateral deal continue.

Palm oil is controversial for environmental and conservation reasons: its production often leads to deforestation and the loss of orangutan habitat.

Paper is also controversial because countries including Indonesia have been accused of “dumping” paper products in Australia. This is a deliberate strategy to export products at prices below their real costs and so undercut local producers. 

Indonesia and Australia aim to finish negotiations this year.

Indonesia files complaint against Australia in WTO

September 8, 2017: Indonesia has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organisation over the Australian government’s decision to impose dumping duties on A4 paper from Brazil, China, Thailand and Indonesia - announced in April.

The Indonesian government has also communicated ‘deep concern’ over Australia’s investigation into the alleged dumping of steel rods exported from Indonesia.

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