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Labor should not pass a China trade agreement that includes ISDS

03 Sep 2015

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on Labor to refuse to pass the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) while it still contains an open-ended Investor-State Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) provision.

Today on morning radio, the Labor Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, said, “We want to see the China Free Trade Agreement implemented… Those concerns can be dealt with by the Government… They don't need to reopen the agreements, the agreement with China. They don't need to go back to Beijing and renegotiate.”

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Given that ISDS is in black and white in the core text of ChAFTA, this statement by Chris Bowen indicates that Labor is looking to pass ChAFTA inclusive of this anti-democratic clause.

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Government’s Free Trade Agreement rhetoric an insult to the collective national intelligence

02 Sep 2015

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says the Government’s sales pitch for the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is reaching hysterical levels.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Treasury wrote in the 2010 Blue Book that ‘the potential benefits of the Free Trade Agreements currently under negotiation [like ChAFTA] have been oversold and the negatives largely ignored,’ and this is exactly what we are hearing from the Government today.

“When I asked Treasury and DFAT if they had included modelling of the economic impact of agreements like ChAFTA in their future GDP projections they said they hadn’t because the impact would be too negligible to warrant being considered.

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Abbott crabwalks away from ‘effects test’

01 Sep 2015

Greens spokesperson for Finance, Small Business and Competition Policy expresses his disappointment at Prime Minister Abbott’s indication today that he is crab-walking away from introducing an ‘effects test’

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This morning it was splashed across our TV screens and newspapers that Small Business Minister Bruce Billson was introducing an ‘effects test’ to Cabinet today and that although there were divisions it was going to pass.

“Yet at a press conference this afternoon with the Treasurer, Prime Minister Abbott said the issue wasn’t going to come before Cabinet today and that the Government had already done a lot for small business.

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