Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ACTU – Turnbull jumps the gun with UK trade deal

11 July 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been too quick out the blocks on a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.

The Prime Minister has committed Australia to a UK trade deal before the terms of Brexit have been finalised, and before the UK Government can execute it because it has not yet left the European Union.

The Turnbull Government has shown in its free trade deal making that it always stands on the side of big business and cannot be trusted to look after Australians’ interests.

Quotes attributable to Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Ged Kearney:

  • “Prime Minister Turnbull is committing to a trade deal with the UK when there are still far too many moving parts.”
  • “Committing to a deal prior to Brexit in March 2019 is not realistic. The terms of Brexit are not finalised and will have a serious impact on any potential trade deals with both the EU and UK. It would be foolish to pretend otherwise.”
  • “We are concerned that under Malcolm Turnbull a UK trade agreement would be yet another ‘slap in the face’ to Australian working people that would undermine local jobs and hand corporations the power to sue our country via the so-called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms.”
  • “The recent Philip Morris case, in which the Australian Government was sued by the multinational corporation for implementing plain packaging tobacco laws, should be a lesson learned. Australia won this case, but only on a pure technicality, next time we may not be so lucky.”
  • “The Government can and should be negotiating fair deals that promote fair trade and protect our national interests.”
  • “We are calling on the Government to ensure all future trade deals entered into by Australia exclude ISDS provisions, are subject to a full public cost benefit analysis and the full text is put to a parliamentary vote before the deal is signed.”
  • “Most importantly, humans are not goods. Under these deals large corporations are exploiting workers and undercut local jobs. All future trade deals should contain core labour standards and minimum worker protections, and exclude labour mobility provisions that provide ways around our immigration laws”

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