Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson responds to Trade Minister Andrew Robb’s comments in today’s Australian Financial Review regarding the shocking revelations from last week’s Wikileaks’ disclosure of a single draft chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

“The Greens cautiously welcome Minister Robb’s statements that Australia would oppose tougher penalties on internet service providers and any moves that undermine Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in the TPPA negotiations,” Senator Whish-Wilson stated.

“Given the significant growing concern over this secret trade deal in the Australian community, Minister Robb must also make clear what else is being traded in our names and clarify the Abbott government’s position on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – or rule out its inclusion in negotiations entirely.

“ISDS would give big foreign multinational corporations more power and influence over our domestic laws and is simply unacceptable to any Australian.

“The Australian Greens will move a motion in the Senate, when it next sits on December 2nd, to compel the government to abandon their secrecy around the TPPA trade talks. The motion would make draft documents available for broader stakeholder scrutiny well before the deal is signed by cabinet and brought to parliament for ratification and debate.

“The biggest unanswered question around the TPPA is why the need for all the secrecy? Why have only large corporations so far been shown drafts of the deals on the table?

“Until these questions are answered Australians will rightly think the Abbott government must have something to hide,“ he concluded.

The community can support a petition calling for the TPPA text to be made public here –
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens spokesperson on trade.