Secretive UK and India trade agreements

Australian Greens

The Senate will vote this week on the enabling legislation of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) and Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (A-IECTA).

As the Greens standing member on the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) Senator Cox wants to ensure the agreements are fair for people and the planet.

As stated by Greens spokesperson for trade, Yamatji-Noongar Woman Senator Dorinda Cox:

“Our trade agreements should benefit all of society and not just big business.

“Australia’s agreements are determined behind closed doors and without public consultation.

“The social, environmental and economic impacts of these deals must be independently examined.

“The government must implement the recommendations of the JSCOT ‘Report 193: Strengthening the Trade Agreement and Treaty Making Process in Australia’, especially in relation to greater consultation and transparency, and providing independent modelling and analysis.

“First Nations businesses should be elevated with the inclusion of First Nations trade chapters. This will also allow intellectual property to be protected by including geographical indicators. The appetite from our partners is there, the UK has agreed to such a deal with New Zealand, the only thing lacking is the political will from Labor.

“Protecting human rights and the environment should be at the heart of how we engage with our partners. We must include provisions that deal with the climate crisis and decarbonise our supply chains.

“At COP27 India called for the phasing out of coal and gas, we should be factoring this into our negotiations.

“The Australia-UK deal removes the requirement for migrant workers to work regionally which will negatively impact our rural communities who rely on the workforce and economic benefits. The agreement also removes the market testing requirements which ensure workers are filling genuine labour market shortages.”

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