The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will appear at the opening public hearing today for an Australian parliamentary inquiry looking at the merits of expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The CPTPP agreement signed in 2018 is a trade bloc of 11 countries that includes Australia and is an export market of 500 million consumers worth nearly $14 trillion.
The parliamentary inquiry will examine the scope for expanding the TPP beyond the existing membership of Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia and Peru to include new members.
Chair of the Trade Sub-Committee of the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Ted O’Brien, welcomed the opportunity to investigate the process of how the current members of the CPTPP can agree on expanding the trade pact to include other economies, and understanding what the benefits of new members joining will be.
‘On the back of this week’s historical agreement to progress a FTA with the United Kingdom, between Prime Ministers Morrison and Johnson, it is timely to consider expanding the most comprehensive plurilateral trade agreement in existence, the CPTPP,’ Mr O’Brien said.
‘Before we can assess the merits of aspiring economies that could accede to the CPTPP, it is important to baseline everyone’s understanding of the agreement, and that starts today when hearing from DFAT.’
Representatives of DFAT will appear at the public hearing at 9:50 am, Thursday 17 June 2021 in Committee Room 1R4, Parliament House.