LABOR CALLS FOR RELEASE OF TRADE AGREEMENT TEXT

12 October 2020

Labor calls on the Government to make transparency a priority at the upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting by pushing for the final treaty text to be publicly released before it is signed.
 
Labor understands the Government must act in accordance with trading partners’ confidentiality requirements during negotiations.
 
But this does not preclude the Government from advocating strongly for Australian values and ensuring transparency is a priority on the agenda for all RCEP countries at the meeting.
 
Australians deserve to know the impact of all government policies on job opportunities and livelihoods.
 
Labor therefore calls on Trade Minister Simon Birmingham to foster agreement among RCEP countries with the aim of releasing the final text of the agreement prior to signature in November.
 
Labor has long called for greater transparency and consultation in the development of trade agreements, as this is vital in ensuring community consensus in favour of fair and open trade.
 
Releasing the text prior to signature would be a strong step in the right direction.