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by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
australia, secrecy, tpp, transparency

Australian Politicians Call For TPP Text To Be Made Public Before It's Signed

from the not-gonna-happen dept

Politicians for the opposition Labor Party in Australia have called on the government there to release the text of the TPP agreement before it's signed. Yes, it's crazy that this even needs to be discussed, but the latest round of negotiations are going on, and there have been some rumors that the plans are to let countries "sign" on at the end of the negotiations, before any text is officially released. Countries would still have to ratify, so the signature is largely symbolic, but it still seems fairly ridiculous that any government would agree to sign a massive trade agreement with huge implications for pretty much all of their citizens without the document ever being made public. Frankly, the idea that any country would consider moving forward with such an agreement before they've allowed any public discussion of the text is about as anti-democratic as you can imagine.

While it's good that the Labor party is making this request, the very fact that it needs to do so shows just how screwed up the entire TPP process is. It's a backroom deal put together to help a few big industries at the expense of nearly everyone else -- and the whole thing is secret. This isn't how countries which claim to be open, free and democratic are supposed to act. But, of course, as former USTR Ron Kirk admitted during a moment of candor, if the public actually got to see what's in the TPP, the agreement would never get approved. And that's exactly why it shouldn't be approved.

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  1. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 6 Dec 2013 @ 7:54am

    This motion WILL pass the Senate

    Ok firstly this is NOT a request its now a motion in the Senate backed by the MAJORITY of the Senate and the Australian Government (House of Representatives) which is currently controlled by the Liberal/National Coalition Parties MUST comply otherwise it can face dismissal (ie: the whole government is actually sacked and a new election occurs)

    As for anyones argument that they wont release the COMPLETE and TRUE copy of the TPP Treaty before any signage due to it being a part of the negotiation treaty not to release the documents.. that doesn't hold any sway under Australian law since if they do that (any Minister, Politician, or Bureaucrat) they are then in contempt of the Senate and also would face criminal charges under Australian law.

    The reasons that this motion will pass the Senate and will become a Compelling Order is that the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions have been revealed to be still part of the treaty that the Aust Government is willing to sign and the Senate believes, and rightly so, that "These provisions and others within the agreement pose a real a threat to Australia’s public interest laws that protect our environment and rural industries, and underpin public health".

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