International events extend time for submissions to Trans-Pacific Partnership inquiry

In response to the new Biden administration in the United States and also the United Kingdom declaring it wants to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement, an Australian parliamentary inquiry looking at the merits of expanding the CPTPP’s membership has extended the closing date for submissions to 16 April 2021.

Chair of the Trade Sub-Committee of the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, Ted O’Brien, wants to allow more time for submissions to the inquiry.

“The election of the Biden administration and the new President’s longstanding support for trade liberalisation is no small matter,” said Mr O’Brien.

“Likewise, the UK’s declaration that it wishes to join the CPTPP is big news.

“These international events create a new context in which the topic of expanding the CPTPP’s membership should be considered, so I’ve decided to extend the closing date for submissions.”

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.

“It’s important that any new member can commit to the existing Agreement, including on issues such as standards and market access,” Mr O’Brien said.

Submissions from any person, businesses or organisations with an interest in the issues raised by these terms of reference are welcome. Submissions addressing all or some of the terms of reference should be lodged by 16 April 2021.

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