Trans Pacific Partnership

Commonly referred to as the TPP, is this an opportunity or a threat to the Australian community?

Since coming to power in 2013, the Australian government, through its former Trade Minister Andrew Robb, has been fervently pursuing bi-lateral trade deals and this one, the TPP, that is supposed to cover a string of nations around the Pacific Ocean, Australia included. Robb has recently announced his retirement from parliament, so he has now been appointed a “special envoy” to see this TPP deal through.

But what has Mr Robb told the people? What has the government told the people? Who wins, who loses. who is sidelined, who is most at threat, what are the long-term benefits, what are the potential weaknesses, how is the TPP going to advance the lives of ordinary Australians, what are the risks, has any proper analysis been done of all the intricate details involved, what about protecdtion of the environment?

What would the TPP mean for real sustainability of social, environmental, and economic outcomes? Not just for Australians, but for our Pacific neighbours also.

What are the implications about climate change? And alignment with United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

And there’s a lot, lot more.

Well, it seems none of these questions have been, or are able to be, answered. And that is by design. It is intentional. 

Mr Robb says that the TPP is nothing to do with climate change; he says it is only about trade. Wrong. It has everything to do with climate change if national economies are on a pathway to limit greenhouse gas emissions, to embrace prinicples of equity and fairness, and to eradicate poverty.

Should he be trusted when he has openly demonstrated his disdain and indifference for climate change issues? Should we always trust the hand of a politician? Should we always stay passive and let governments do as they please? They say it’s about the national interest, but wait a minute! What national interest? Who and which corporation would reap the big benefits? 

Read this illuminating article from The Conversation.

Clandestine arrangements, secret deals - that’s the only rational response that comes to mind. 

The TPP is selective, it excludes small Pacific Island states, it ignores the UN efforts for sustainable development, and there are risks about food security. There are so many unanswered questions, so many risks, that unless greater transparency, open-ness with the people, and actual analysis is done, then the TPP should never be a done deal!

Find out more about the TPP, click on all the links in the article mentioned. 

And then check this out.

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