Tasmanian Times

Economy

Trans-Pacific Partnership would be disastrous for Australia …

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has urged Australia’s political leaders to not sign Australia up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership amid growing community concern the agreement will be disastrous for the country.

Mr Wilkie has written to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Opposition Leader on behalf of the overwhelming majority of constituents who have contacted his office alarmed about the agreement – which Australia could sign in weeks – and the secrecy of its negotiations.

“There’s serious concern in my electorate about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),’’ Mr Wilkie said.

“Leaked documents have shown the agreement would result in higher costs for medicine and watered-down environmental standards.

“But perhaps the most alarming of all are the proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which would give foreign commercial interests undue power over Australian governments.’’

Mr Wilkie said ISDS provisions would open up Australia, and Tasmania in particular, to damaging lawsuits from foreign companies.

“Foreign companies would be free to sue Australian governments if they take any action which damages the company’s business, for example the current Philip Morris case against plain packaging legislation,’’ he said.

“Tasmania is particularly vulnerable due to its high quarantine standards. Strict rules that prevent foreign companies from entering the market, for example fish and plant importers, can be interpreted as discriminatory and a breach of our trade obligations. Tasmania’s GMO-free status is another important example of something that could be challenged by foreign companies exploiting the ISDS provisions.

“I urge the Government to listen to the widespread community concern and not sign up to an agreement that would be so disastrous for Australia. At very least new trade agreements need to include exemptions for important areas such as health, food safety and environmental legislation. And I call on the Tasmanian Government to do what it can to pressure the Abbott Government to that end.’’

PETER HENNING … more than a year ago on Tasmanian Times: Tell me a story … about Free Trade

TIM THORNE … more than three years ago on Tasmanian Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership: The dangers …

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Mike Bolan

    July 10, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Globalisation has allowed psychopaths to weasel their way to ever greater influence that they can use for their own aggrandizement and the pain and disadvantage of everyone else.

    An unsustainable system like ours must fail for some reason. Perhaps self destruction through giving all of our power to people we don’t trust is to be a means for our early exit?

  2. Peter Henning

    July 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    The main problem here is that the current federal government is attracted to the ISDS provisions in the TPP precisely because it provides opportunities to undermine environmental regulations, labour regulations and other Australian federal and state legislation which limits the ability of corporations to drive down wages and conditions, to increase costs to consumers and to damage the environment.

    We have seen this at work in many places in the world before, especially where governments see their role as forming alliances with the interests of foreign capital, as has been common in South America, for example.

    So the problem extends to the ideological neo-liberalism now dominant in the Australian Liberal Party, which is seeking to undermine all progressive socio-economic-environmental legislation on every front.

    The Abbott’s government’s clear support for lack of transparency within the terms of the TPP, and even for those terms to be unavailable for scrutiny by the federal parliament, is another thread within the broader agenda we have seen at work, most notably perhaps with the Hockey-Abbott 2014 budget.

    That is the context within which Australians should perceive what the Abbott administration is seeking to achieve with the TPP.

  3. Mike Adams

    July 10, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    U.S. Congress has fast tracked it. Can anyone anywhere see Abbott not joining in?

  4. john hayward

    July 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Any secret international agreement involving a climate-change denying spokesman of conspicuously limited intelligence, whose sympathies are wholly with the corporate plutocracy, is unlikely to be a win for Oz.

    John Hayward

  5. Chris

    July 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Dare I ask to see the Books including donations to the North Shore Forum?
    Keep plugging Andrew – wish you luck, but it ids probably an over seas matter.

  6. mike seabrook

    July 10, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    don’t forget the handouts from the feds to compensate the bludging perpetually begging mendicant tasmanians and their pollies
    – fox hunts-
    – maccquarie wharf cash- sewerage removal and envisaged timber and wood chip wharf relocation
    – handouts to macquarie bank owned hobart airport
    – handouts to forestry etc
    – $millions to not cut down trees and to plant trees (mis) and not to build the gordon-below-franklin dam
    – wilkies $500 million plus hobart memorial hospital
    – tassie freight equalisation which is effectively pinched by the bass strait choke point monopolistic occupiers

  7. Richard Browne

    July 9, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    When will there be an uprising in Australia?

  8. Peter Bright

    July 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    One definition of treason I found is this: [i]” a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or state”[/i]

  9. TV Resident

    July 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t believe that our federal liberal gov’t actually works for us, the constituents. I believe the federal liberal gov’t work for overseas corporate giants with their secretive agreements. I also believe that some federal liberal gov’t ‘big wigs’ would be getting some financial benefit for their agreements. It’s a shame that the liberals and their mafia links, uncovered by 4 Corners and Fairfax media can’t be investigated more fully. The liberals seem to be on a witch hunt on ALL labor leaders, but the liberals definitely aren’t so squeaky clean either. While I have no time for ‘party’ politics, this is just plain hypocritical.

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