Monday, 21 November 2016
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
That the Senate calls on the Turnbull Government to abandon moves to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), given that Mr Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States of America.
In accordance with our standard treaty-making processes, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is currently considering the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and will report in due course. Following the conclusion of that process and considering ratification processes in other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, the government will then consider advancing implementing legislation.
Labor cannot support this motion in its present form. As the motion stands, it is incomplete. It calls on the government to drop out of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement because Donald Trump is President-Elect of the United States. Labor believes that the motion should read 'calls on the Turnbull government to abandon current plans to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement given that the TPP cannot come into force without ratification by the United States, which now appears extremely unlikely as the Obama Administration has indicated that it will not come before the Congress during this presidential term, and President-Elect Donald Trump has indicated that he does not support the agreement'.
That is a motion that Labor could have supported. The wording would have made it clear that the TPP is unlikely to be ratified by the United States, and if the United States has not ratified this agreement there can be no TPP. Indeed, we have already called upon the government to suspend ratification plans until there is clarity about the United States' intention. We contacted Senator Hanson-Young to propose rewording the motion. However, we could not reach an agreement and therefore are unable to support this one.
This motion is as simple as it can possibly be. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a bad deal for Australia, and we know that President-Elect Trump does not want to pursue it. We should get out now. We should stop wasting government resources, agency resources. I understand that the Labor Party is uncomfortable about having a position on this.