Government MPs Once Again Back Labor’s Policy



A Government controlled committee has once again recommended support for Labor’s policy to undertake independent economic analysis of all new free trade agreements.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties this week again recommended that:

“the government commission independent economic analysis of all free trade agreements…”

PACER Plus Joint Standing Committee on Treaties May 2018

This is in addition to the Committee’s recommendation in earlier reports:

“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 

Turnbull’s Government has repeatedly refused to conduct independent economic analysis despite public and industry support.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that:

“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

The Productivity Commission has said:

“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

Scott Morrison’s Harper Review recommended it as well:

“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

Even Tony Abbott commissioned independent economic modelling on Australia’s agreement with Korea.

Turnbull’s arrogance is telling as he dismisses calls from the public, industry and his own party members to implement Labor’s policy.

Commissioning economic modelling on trade agreements is common sense.

Labor will do it and so should Turnbull. 


FRIDAY, 11 MAY 2018

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