Government finally agrees to economic modelling on new trade deals

In a bumbling interview today the Assistant Trade Minister seems to commit the Turnbull Government to conducting economic modelling of all future trade agreements.

On Sky he was asked a number of times if economic modelling would be conducted on new trade agreements currently being negotiated by the Turnbull Government.

Finally after dodging the question a number of times:

JOURNALIST: It’s ok to say you’re not sure or you don’t know. Does the process include modelling or not?

PITT: The process always includes modelling on our behalf as to what is in our best interests for this country.

(Keith Pitt, Sky News 25 May 2017) 

In the past the Government has not always conducted its own economic modelling for all agreements it has signed. If it is going to do this in the future this is welcome news.

In November last year Labor asked the Government if any economic modelling had been done for a transpacific trade agreement that does not include the United States.

Responses to two separate Freedom of Information requests confirmed the Government has not requested the Department to conduct such modelling.

This is despite the Trade Minister admitting last year that pursuing a new agreement without US “changes the metrics substantially” (Steven Ciobo, Insiders, 13 November 2016).

Labor looks forward to seeing the Government’s economic modelling, now the Assistant Minister has confirmed it will be done.