The Greens spokesperson for Trade, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson provides the following comments in response to the WikiLeaks revelation about the details of the Trade in Services Agreement being negotiated by the Australian Government.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Today we learnt from WikiLeaks what the Australian government is secretly negotiating away in our name.
“The Government is putting at risk our ability to better regulate our banking sector. The Trade In Services Agreement may restrict future parliaments from implementing reforms that may be necessary to protect consumers and maintain stability.
“I want to know whether or not the Government expects to change the current financial regulation policy framework to be able to sign up to the Trade in Services Agreement.
“I want to know why the Government wants the ultimate umpire in Australian financial disputes to be shady international arbitration hearings, not the Australian courts.
“This is a government that is pursuing an extreme and radical pro-business agenda. They are happy to divest any ability for the parliament to rein in big business acting badly.
“We have a Trade and Investment Minister on a deregulation bender. This is a Minister who has jawboned the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority for simply wanting to make sure the banks don’t create another GFC. This is a Minister who says that corruption bodies like ICAC are a step too far.
“Andrew Robb is using his trade portfolio to hamstring future parliaments from tightening legislation in a whole manner of areas of public interest.
“The Australian Greens have a Bill in front of the Senate to prevent these types of dangerous Trojan Horse provisions in trade agreements. Our Bill is supported by a broad spectrum of civil society included pensioner groups, religious groups, environmentalists and unions.
“These so-called trade deals are really a global set of rules written by multinational corporations for multinational corporations,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.
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