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Australians have a right to know what is being traded away

The Federal Government must protect the civil liberties, health, and welfare of Australians in its negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Australian Greens urged today.

A Greens motion in the Senate calling on the Government to make the TPPA negotiations available to the public and to support measures protecting Australian sovereignty and the rights of Australian residents was defeated by the Government and Opposition voting together.

"The negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is being conducted in secret. While draft texts of the agreement were provided to AT&T, Verizon, Cisco, the Motion Picture Association, and other industry lobbyists - advocacy organisations and other citizens are denied access," said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens trade spokesperson.

"Grave concerns have been raised about the TPPA regarding its potential impact on access to medicines, local content rules of media, high-tech innovation and limitations placed on governments to make policies and regulations on health, safety and economic stability," said Senator Scott Ludlam, Greens communications spokesperson. "It has been suggested the Australian Government intends to oppose a clause protecting domestic intellectual property laws."

The motion also called on the Federal Government to support the proposal from countries spearheaded by New Zealand to permit signatory nations to continue and extend into the digital environment limitations and exceptions in its own laws; and reject all trade agreements that put the civil liberties, environment, public health, and welfare of Australians at risk.

The TPPA is being negotiated between the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Brunei and New Zealand.

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