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US Congress committee to look at changing TPP – Greens call on Australian government to clarify

The House ranking Democrat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Sander Levin has begun a process to review the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and has left open the possibility of changing the Agreement saying “The upcoming 90-day period was established to facilitate an intensive and informed debate over the merits of TPP as negotiated, as well as the necessity for any modifications to the agreement, before the agreement is signed.”

Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling on the Australian government to clarify if the United States still has the ability to change the Agreement at this stage.

Senator Whish-Wilson said “It is outrageous that members of the US Congress are still talking about the ability to change the TPP to make it more in their favour, but for Australia it still remains a take-it-or-leave-it prospect.

"The TPP will give US-based multinational corporations the ability to sue future Australian governments for making laws in the public interest if it affects their profits. The Greens are especially concerned about what this means for Australia's ability to rein in carbon pollution and increase rates of renewable energy generation.

“The Australian Government should immediately clarify if the US has the ability to change the text at this stage. And if so, does Australia have this ability too.

"If Australia has the ability to change the agreement at this stage then we should be looking to remove the dangerous and undemocratic investor-state dispute-settlement clause.

“The US already get the final say in Certification, when they get to say whether Australian law changes to accede to the TPP have met up to their standard,” he concluded.

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