Push to stop Parliament ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership

A recent article published in The Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/push-to-stop-parliament-ratifying-the-transpacific-partnership-20160202-gmjiay.html, states that almost 60 community organizations have called for an independent assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership before the Australian Parliament votes to ratify the agreement. Multiple groups, from the Public Health Association, to Greenpeace, to Catholic Religious Australia, and to the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network, have signed a letter warning that the trade deal poses “grave risks to the public interest” if it is not independently assessed. The alliance of groups want an organization like the Productivity Commission to evaluate the TPP’s economic costs and benefits before their Parliament agrees to ratify it. The letter states, “We the undersigned 59 community organizations representing millions of Australians are gravely concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership text agreed by the US, Australia and 10 other Pacific Rim countries,” and “In the absence of such independent assessments, we consider that the TPP poses grave risks to the public interest and ask you to oppose the implementing legislation.” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb believe that the TPP is “a gigantic foundation stone” for Australia and that the deal will deliver “substantial benefits for Australia,” respectively. The TPP should be formally signed by Australia’s neighbor New Zealand this Thursday, and it is likely to be tabled in Australia’s parliament later this month.

Will an independent assessment change the Australian Government’s view on the TPP? What do you think an independent assessment would reveal?

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