Trade

The Greens believe that fair trade, not just free trade, is essential.  Australia’s trade agreements must be multilateral, reviewable by Parliament and include clauses on the observance of human rights and labour laws, health and safety and environmental standards, to ensure that trade is not conducted at the expense of a more just and sustainable world. 

The Greens want Australia to play a positive role in ensuring that trade agreements contribute towards global poverty alleviation goals, and provide genuine opportunities and equity for less developed nations. 

Our priority is to ensure any trade agreements Australia enters into do not undermine our public health systems, intellectual property or cultural expression, or increase the rights and market domination of corporations at the expense of our civil society and environment. 

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TransCanada to sue US Government over Keystone decision putting global climate action at risk

26 Jun 2016

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson says the decision by TransCanada to sue the United States Government for $15 billion in damages using the Investor-State Dispute settlement provisions in NAFTA over the Keystone pipeline decision puts global climate action at risk and also serves as a warning for Australia to not ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Senator Whish-Wilson says, “The chickens are coming home to roost with these ISDS provisions. A fossil fuel company who was refused planning permission is using a clause in a trade deal to undermine a decision made in the public interest.

“This will send chills down the spines of government’s around the world that are seeking to act on climate change. These Trojan horse clauses in trade deals are undermining democracy and undermining the world’s ability to seek a safe climate.

 

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Australia should stand with Clinton and reject the TPP

22 Jun 2016

Australian Greens spokesperson for trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has today welcomed Hillary Clinton’s call for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) to be rejected.

In a major policy speech Hillary Clinton gave just hours ago, the Democrat nominee said, "To do that, we should renegotiate deals that aren’t working for Americans, and reject any agreements — like the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that don’t meet my high bar for raising wages or creating good-paying jobs."

Senator Whish-Wilson welcome this and said, “Hillary Clinton has belled the cat. The TPP was negotiated in secret to advance corporate interests. It will not benefit ordinary people and is a threat to wages and conditions.

 

“I call on both the Coalition and Labor to face up to the reality that the TPP is a dud deal and should be rejected.

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Greens release Trade policy

17 Jun 2016

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Whish-Wilson, and spokesperson for Industrial Relations, Adam Bandt, will today release the Greens Trade initiative and call for Labor to stop trying to have it both ways on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), workers’ rights and local procurement policies.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The ALP continues to walk both sides of the street on the TPP. Their MPs say they oppose Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses (ISDS), but if their policy is to mean anything they must vote against the TPP.

“The ALP vote was decisive in the passing of the China and Korea free trade agreements and both of these agreements contained ISDS.

“My question to Penny Wong is simple: will the ALP vote for or against the TPP?

 

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Government needs to come clean on talks about redrafting of TPP

19 May 2016

The Australian Greens’ spokesperson on trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, called on the federal government to ‘come clean’ about what was discussed in respect of the TPP at a side meeting of APEC in Peru.

In relation to trade talks, the guidance on caretaker conventions, published by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, states that the government “ordinarily seeks to defer … negotiations or adopts observer status until the end of the caretaker period.”

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “I call on the government to reveal what Australia’s status was at the side meeting at APEC? Did Australia put forward any formal position? If so, what was that position?”

“This is particularly important given reports that the United States is seeking ‘side letters’ to the TPP which would increase the monopoly powers of multinational pharmaceutical companies on biologic medicines and challenge domestic privacy protections.

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National Interest Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is a farce

09 Feb 2016

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has labelled the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) National Interest Analysis, tabled today in Parliament, a farce and reiterated his call for the Government to refer the entire TPP text to the Productivity Commission for independent assessment.

 

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The TPP National Interest Analysis presented to Parliament is not an independent assessment of the costs and benefits of this agreement; it is simply a more detailed set of talking points coming from DFAT and Andrew Robb’s office.

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Andrew Robb is running scared on independent TPP scrutiny

04 Feb 2016

Today Andrew Robb has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) on behalf of the Australian government. Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments.

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Plain Packaging victory is outstanding for public health but ISDS still hangs like a Damocles sword over Australian democracy

18 Dec 2015

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson welcomes Australia’s victory in the Investor-State Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) case against Phillip Morris over plain packaging laws.

“Plain packaging has proven to be an effective public policy tool to reduce smoking rates in Australia. Unfortunately as a nation we have signed up to trade and investment treaties that have given corporations the right to sue us for making laws that might impinge on a foreign corporation’s profits.

“In this case particular case Australia has dodged a bullet because the tribunal has decided they don’t have jurisdiction to decide on this piece of litigation. However, because Australia has signed up to ISDS mechanisms with China, Korea and the United States (via the Trans-Pacific Partnership) we are going to see so much more of this from now on.

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Labor votes with the Liberals to bring ISDS to Australia via the China Free Trade Agreement

09 Nov 2015

This evening the Greens voted against the enabling legislation for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), an agreement that exposes future Australian governments to being sued by Chinese corporations for introducing legislation that impacts on their profits, and an agreement that undermines Australian working conditions.

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Whish-Wilson, “Today in the Senate, the Greens voted against exposing Australia to the risks of Investor-State Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) clauses in ChAFTA, while the Labor Party and the Liberal Party sat together to vote to bring ISDS to Australia.

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Greens members unanimously reject dangerous and undemocratic TPP and ChAFTA deals

08 Nov 2015

Today during the plenary session of the Australian Greens national conference, Greens party members have unanimously passed a resolution opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Chinese-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

The motion reads, “That the Greens: (a) oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and similar deals that are negotiated in secret, empower corporations to sue governments, or that threaten Australia’s labour, health or environment laws; and (b) call on the Australian parliament to reject the TPPA and the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.”

 

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has welcomed this resolution from the party membership who feel strongly about these dangerous and undemocratic trade agreements.

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US Congress committee to look at changing TPP – Greens call on Australian government to clarify

07 Nov 2015

The House ranking Democrat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Sander Levin has begun a process to review the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and has left open the possibility of changing the Agreement saying “The upcoming 90-day period was established to facilitate an intensive and informed debate over the merits of TPP as negotiated, as well as the necessity for any modifications to the agreement, before the agreement is signed.”

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling on the Australian government to clarify if the United States still has the ability to change the Agreement at this stage

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