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Issue #1629      March 5, 2014

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Act now!

The latest target date for completion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is October. It remains to be seen whether agreement can be reached between all 12 governments by then. Even if agreement is reached and the government signs it, there is still a chance to block Australia’s ratification.

The special rights for foreign investors in the TPP would allow corporations to sue governments if their investments are “harmed” by a law or policy (see articles Guardian #1628, February 26, 2014).

The government cannot ratify the TPP until Parliament has passed the necessary implementing legislation to bring our laws into line with the agreement. It would come down to the strength of the campaign to defeat the TPP and the balance of forces in the Senate.

From July, the Coalition may have control of the Senate relying on the Palmer United Party and several other small right-wing parties. The outcome of the new Senate election in Western Australia is extremely important. The Greens are strongly opposed to the TPP and should be supported. Pressure must be maintained on Labor to stand firm on its opposition to the Interstate Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions and not fall into line behind the US.

Apart from taking the countries involved one step closer to the complete direct dictatorship of transnational capital, the TPP also raises the question of the undemocratic treaty processes that the government is relying on to rob the Australian people of their democratic rights.

The Guardian urges readers to lobby MPs and Senators and to inform more people about the dangers involved. One way of doing this is to support the AFTINET campaign. (www.aftinet.org.au)

The TPP can and must be defeated. Once in place, it cannot easily be undone.

For more info: http://democracyctr.org, report titled “Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar”

Next article – Govts must step up employment of people with disabilities

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