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Greens call on Robb to reject ugly TPP compromises

“Reports from the TPP negotiations in the US indicate that the delay in signing the deal is leading to the consideration of ugly compromises.
Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, makes the following comments about the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):

“It has been reported that Australia’s Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, is considering caving in to pressure from big pharma to extend monopoly rights on costly biologic medicines.

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Opportunity to fix broken treaty-making process lost with failure to trade Robb

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson makes the following comments regarding the recent portfolio shuffle:

“It is disappointing that Prime Minister Turnbull hasn’t used this opportunity to bring a new set of eyes and leadership to the Trade portfolio.

“Andrew Robb is a ‘free trade fossil’, a champion for an-out of-touch and broken trade treaty system that is selling us all down the river.

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Government continues to rush China Free Trade Agreement process

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson reproaches the government for introducing the enabling legislation for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) over a month before the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has provided its report into the agreement.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The government, by introducing the enabling Legislation before Parliament has had the opportunity to scrutinise the ChAFTA agreement, shows its interest lies in the politics of the agreement rather than in securing a good outcome.

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Speech: A New Prime Minister

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (21:23):

We have been told he is a conviction politician with a grown-up approach to policy. The walk, the words and the delivery might be very different from those of the former Prime Minister, Mr Abbott. But the new Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull, is just another leader of the same Liberal Party that specialises in cruel, discriminatory policies. Mr Turnbull is my local MP. There should be no honeymoon for this new Prime Minister. For the member for Wentworth, the warning bells should ring loud and clear.

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Senate motion on WTO emergency powers to save Port Kembla steel industry

The Abbott government will be asked to activate World Trade Organisation emergency powers to save the Port Kembla steel industry if a motion before the Australian Senate is passed.

The motion, to be debated on Thursday 10 September, has been moved by Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Victorian independent Senator John Madigan. Full wording of the motion is below.

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said, "We have introduced this motion as the Abbott government is dragging the chain on dealing with the crisis facing the Illawarra.

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Labor should not pass a China trade agreement that includes ISDS

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on Labor to refuse to pass the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) while it still contains an open-ended Investor-State Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) provision.

Today on morning radio, the Labor Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, said, “We want to see the China Free Trade Agreement implemented… Those concerns can be dealt with by the Government… They don't need to reopen the agreements, the agreement with China. They don't need to go back to Beijing and renegotiate.”

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Government’s Free Trade Agreement rhetoric an insult to the collective national intelligence

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says the Government’s sales pitch for the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is reaching hysterical levels.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Treasury wrote in the 2010 Blue Book that ‘the potential benefits of the Free Trade Agreements currently under negotiation [like ChAFTA] have been oversold and the negatives largely ignored,’ and this is exactly what we are hearing from the Government today.

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