Greens win greater transparency on secret trade deal

media-releases
04 Dec 2013 | Peter Whish-Wilson
Trade

Today in the Senate the Australian Greens have successfully moved a motion that will bring greater transparency on the biggest free trade deal in this country's history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) currently being negotiated in secret with the United States and 10 other nations.

"Today's result is an important step forward in compelling Tony Abbott to end the secrecy and hidden agendas that have defined his Government to date," said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Australian Greens spokesperson for trade.

The order for production of documents was passed today by the Australian Senate.

"Our order for production of documents will make the final text of the TPPA publically available before being signed off by Cabinet, so the entire Australian community can scrutinise this trade deal to ensure it's more than just ‘free' but is ‘fair' for our nation.

"What is important about this achievement is that it will take the politics out of the TPPA process and end the secrecy around Australia's biggest ever trade negotiations.

"It was recently revealed in Senate Estimates, despite previous assurances to the contrary, that the Abbott Government is considering signing on to Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.

"These provisions and others within the agreement pose a real a threat to Australia's public interest laws that protect our environment and rural industries, and underpin public health.

"These revelations on the Abbott Government's openness to ISDS provisions followed a leak of a single chapter of the agreement - one small piece of the TPPA puzzle - that showed the kind of damage that could be done by a secret deal.

"Tony Abbott should respect the will of the Senate and end the TPPA trade deal secrecy so a broad range of stakeholders can have their say on our nation's future," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.