March 15, 2016
As a region-wide free trade agreement, the TPP offers an opportunity to strengthen job-creating trade and investment, and further integrate Australia into the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region by pursuing common and liberalising policy outcomes.
The TPP Agreement will be unprecedented in its scale and level of ambition. The 12 countries that have negotiated the TPP – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam – represent 25 percent of world trade and almost 40 per cent of the global economy – or around US$28 trillion.
Benefits of the TPP will be broad-ranging; for Australian businesses – by creating more export opportunities in the Asia Pacific; for Australian consumers – by lowering the costs and increasing the variety of goods available in Australia; and for the Australian economy – by promoting economic growth in the Asia Pacific, further integrating Australia into the region, and creating a common platform for expanding trade into the 21st Century.
Once concluded the TPP will be the largest trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organisation, and represents the most significant restatement and enhancement of trade policy rules since the mid-1990s. Once finalised, TPP membership will be open to other economies in the Asia Pacific to promote prosperity and strategic stability.
The Australian Government is not intending to sign up to international agreements that would restrict Australia’s capacity to govern in our own interest – whether in the area of healthcare, the environment or any other regulated area of the economy.
The trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China are already delivering real returns for our agriculture sector and we’re now working toward bilateral agreements with India and Indonesia—two important trading partners where demand for agricultural and food products is set to boom in the coming decades.
Contrary to some reported claims, the TPP negotiations are not secret. The Australian Government made a public announcement about involvement in the TPP negotiations in late 2008 and has been carrying out domestic stakeholder consultations since that time.
As is standard practice with the negotiation of international treaties, draft TPP negotiating texts are not public documents. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has however, taken every opportunity to ensure that stakeholders have been adequately consulted and able to express their views.
The recent signing of the agreed text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the next step forward towards advancing opportunities for Australian agriculture and food exporters in a landmark regional trade agreement covering some of the world’s largest economies.
In accordance with the government’s treaty-making process, once the TPP text is finalised it will be tabled in Parliament for 20 joint sitting days to facilitate public consultations and scrutiny by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) before any binding treaty action is taken.
Once tabled, the treaty text and an accompanying National Interest Analysis will be published on the JSCOT website and in the online Australian Treaties Library.
There will be an opportunity for full public and Parliamentary discussion prior to any agreement being ratified.
The government is concerned with misconceptions about the TPP which are being circulated and has produced a fact sheet addressing some of these myths.
Further details, including the benefits of the TPP are available on the department’s website, at: www.dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/tpp/