Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018, Customs Tariff Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018; In Committee
Senator Patrick, I'm very grateful for that somewhat patronising explanation of these bills. These are both very clearly customs tariff amendment bills and they are customs bill. I would note—as I've noted on multiple occasions now with Senator Whish-Wilson—that the arguments have mostly been in here, and we have spent several hours now on these same issues over and over again. These are issues that don't go to the substance of the bill.
It is absolutely your right to keep trying to re-prosecute the TPP-11 itself. There are other opportunities in estimates next week to go through these issues in more detail, which is probably the more appropriate forum, so that the Senate can get on with other business. However, the substantive question that you've just asked is a complete hypothetical because, as I've explained several times, it depends on: if this did come forward again, the United States joined and all parties agreed, they would have a look and reconsider these 22 clauses. If there are changes, they would come back through the process and go to JSCOT. If there was eventually legislation that came back here as part of those negotiations to change the agreements, of course it would come back through here because it would require the customs bills to be amended. But, again, I have nothing more to add to that because it is hypothetical and the normal parliamentary processes would apply.