Surprise: Now Even Australia's Biggest Business Organization Says It Has Doubts About TPP

from the anyone-still-support-it?-anyone??? dept

As Techdirt has reported, the few studies into the economic impact of TPP that exist show that there is likely to be vanishingly small benefit for most countries. The Australian Council of Trade Unions, representing 1.6 million workers in Australia, is not impressed with the deal, and has just called for TPP to be rejected, according to the Guardian:

"The TPP puts globalisation before Australian workers, threatens the fundamentals of our democracy and drives up health costs," [ACTU’s director of policy] Tkalcevic said. "By destroying thousands of Australian jobs and driving down wages we believe the TPP will lead to higher levels of inequality.

The TPP is a toxic combination of more power to multinationals ahead of democracy and globalisation ahead of Australian workers."
It would be easy to dismiss this as typical left-wing anti-big business rhetoric. But the same could hardly be said about the following:
Australia's biggest business organisation has distanced itself from claims the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and be a "gigantic foundation stone" for Australia's future.
As The Sydney Morning Herald reports, when the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) spoke before a Parliamentary commission, it was particularly critical about the nature of the TPP deal, and the lack of in-depth, independent economic analysis:
ACCI argued the agreement did not mandate free trade and had not been assessed by an independent authority such as the Productivity Commission.
The business organization also criticized the opacity of the trade negotiations:
"With the exception of some relatively superficial information on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, it is difficult to know the detail of what is being negotiated in our national interest," [ACCI's director of trade] Mr Clark said.
It even went so far as to worry about "regulatory chill":
the chamber wanted the inquiry to note that the deal would "further complicate compliance and costs for business" and had not been subjected to an independent Australian economic analysis.

It should also be concerned about the potential for "regulatory chill" from the clauses that would prevent further liberalisation of Australia's intellectual property and labour laws after it had been ratified.
When a country's top business association offers criticism in more or less the same terms as anti-TPP activists, maybe it's time to think twice about ratifying a deal that still lacks any credible justification.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2016 @ 11:31pm

    nope don't believe it

    people lie most people that are even peripherally involved in this will never tell the truth and would murder their own children to make it happen it is going to happen

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:36am

    sounds like the bribes stopped coming and now that they aren't being paid to promote it, they are going to speak their minds about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 2:39am

    I'm with her, and it is what she wants this week. Who cares what Australian business wants, it is of no import, it is nice to want. Depending on what the meaning of is, is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    any moose cow word, 19 Oct 2016 @ 4:57am

    The "regulatory chill" was the entire point all along: for multinational corporations to thrust favorable regulatory mandates, in the guise of a "trade deal", upon the member nations with complete disregard for the consequences suffered by the citizens and local industries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Craig Welch (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 6:26am

    IP 'liberalisation'

    It should also be concerned about the potential for "regulatory chill" from the clauses that would prevent further liberalisation of Australia's intellectual property and labour laws after it had been ratified.

    How did the word 'further' get in there? There hasn't been any liberalisation of Australia's IP or labour laws in recent times, with IP laws in particular being tightened up as a result of AUSFTA (Australia - US Free Trade Agreement).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 6:32am

    This is good of course, but I wouldn't call the unions a business organization. The title implies something like the Chamber of Commerce was involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2016 @ 6:35pm

    This article is really unclear; it begins with something irrelevant to the title and then jumps to a completely different entity.

    The ACTU is a worker's union. It has nothing to do with business councils or anything else. I don't even know why TechDirt bothered including it. For reference though, the media release is at: http://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2016/government-must-back-away-from-tpp-or-risk -39-000-local-jobs

    The ACCI is the "business organisation."

    Please update the article to make it clearer.

    Not that the distinguishment really matters. The Australian government won't be listening to the ACTU, the ACCI or anything else that doesn't agree with its mandate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Craig Welch (profile), 19 Oct 2016 @ 8:12pm

      Clarity

      Oh, FFS. The article is quite clear. If someone reads the headline and doesn't understand after a few paragraphs what it's all about, that person clearly isn't fit to post here.

      Other than by the name of Anonymous Coward.

      Oops. Sorry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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