Economic modelling on trade agreement is common sense


Undertaking economic modelling on trade agreements is common sense.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says so:

“It’s also important that the Government does something that the Parliament has recommended and that is subject the deal to a full and proper independent economic analysis so we can be absolutely sure about where the benefits lie.”

James Pearson CEO ACCI Sky News 24 January 2018

So does the Productivity Commission:

“A full and public assessment of a proposed agreement should be made after negotiations have concluded – covering all of the actual negotiated provisions.”

Productivity Commission Report into Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements 13 December 2010

So did Scott Morrison’s Harper Review, which recommended:

“Trade negotiations should be informed by an independent and transparent analysis of the costs and benefits to Australia of any proposed intellectual property provisions.”

Recommendation 6, Competition Policy Review 31 March 2015

And Liberal MPs who examined the original TPP, who recommended:

“that the Australian Government consider implementing a process through which independent modelling and analysis of a proposed agreement is undertaken by the Productivity Commission, or equivalent organisation …”

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Joint Standing Committee on Treaties November 2016 

And Tony Abbott, who commissioned independent economic modelling on Australia’s agreement with Korea.

The deal has been negotiated in secret and Turnbull arrogantly expects Australians to trust him that it is good for our economy.

If he believes it’s such a good deal why won’t he show us what’s in it. What’s he got to hide?

Turnbull’s “Trust me. I know better than you” attitude is arrogant and out of touch.

If the deal is good for Australia and Australian jobs – Labor will back it.

Look at his record – flat-ling wages, cuts to penalty rates and choices that hurt Australian workers.

At a time when Australians are sceptical of the benefits of trade deals like these, it would only help Turnbull’s case if he provided independent evidence that this deal was good for Australians.

Commissioning economic modelling on trade agreements is common sense. Labor will do it and so should Turnbull.