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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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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TPP text finally released – after any opportunity to fix it is gone

06 Nov 2015

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says now the text has finally been released stakeholders and the community will at last get the chance to scrutinise it, but only after it is too late to change any of it.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “We will be looking closely at the details and consulting with stakeholders to examine the implications of the fine print. The text is 6000 pages long and full of technical and legal jargon.

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Labor has caved into the government on ChAFTA: Greens

21 Oct 2015

Greens Trade spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Employment & Workplace Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said Labor has caved into the government on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This is a second-rate agreement created by a fundamentally flawed trade process.

“Whilst the Labor and Liberal parties will be slapping each other on the back and celebrating this as a political victory for themselves, many Australian workers are likely to feel this is anything but a victory.

“These trade deals are a Trojan horse for labour market deregulation agendas, and giving special rights to corporations to sue over democratic government decisions.

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JSCOT rubber stamp for ChAFTA another example of how the treaty making process is broken

19 Oct 2015

“Today, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has rubber-stamped the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) without any independent analysis of the costs and benefits of the Agreement,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, the Greens spokesperson on Trade,

“Even according to the government’s own analysis this deal will supposedly create only a few thousand jobs over the next twenty years and cost billions in revenue.

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