Government accused of failure in TPP alternatives

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd January 2017

The Australian Federal Government has been accused of failing to do its research into the pro’s and con’s of any Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which does not include America.

Australian Trade Minister, Steve Ciobo, said that the international trade agreement needs to be revised to go ahead without America’s involvement.

Labor party trade spokesperson, Jason Clare, has however criticised the decision to still try and ratify the TPP without America. Speaking to the media late last week, Clare said the Australian government needs to look into TPP alternatives.

He said without America’s support the TPP does not come into effect and that Trump has “killed it”.

The future of the TPP has been in question since Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States. Throughout his election campaign Trump repeatedly said America would not enter into the TPP under his leadership.

The TPP is an international trade agreement planned to be between 12 countries, including Australia and the USA. It was finalised in October 2015 after negotiations began in 2010 but is yet to be ratified.

Wine industry supports push ahead with TPP

The Wine Federation of Australia has meanwhile welcomed Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s announcement that the Federal Government will proceed with trying to ratify the TPP without America’s involvement.

Chief Executive Officer of the Wine Federation of Australia, Tony Battaglene, said the TPP provides such great opportunities for the Australian wine sector that everything in our power needs to be done to ensure it comes into force.

“This is the first agreement to specifically address significant nontariff trade barriers restricting our export growth as well as promoting significant opportunities within the region.  It also provides a template for future agreements,” Battaglene said.

Alongside Australia’s wine industry, Australia’s sugar industry was relying on the TPP to enter America’s large sugar market.

One of the sticking points TPP negotiations was Australia’s ability to import sugar into America. After significant negotiation, it was decided that under the TPP, Australia would be allowed to export an extra 65, 000 tonnes of sugar into the US annually.

Trump has however previously said he would be looking to negotiate “fair and bilateral trade deals which bring jobs and industry back to America” rather than ratifying the TPP, an agreement he described as a “potential disaster” for the US.

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