The Australian Government has made significant progress on its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, with a number of concessions on issues including the environment, health and the rights of workers.
Key points:The deal is expected to be ratified by the end of the yearThe deal aims to strengthen the Australian economy by boosting domestic and international marketsWhile the Government says the deal is a win-win for all parties, critics say it will undermine the rights and environmental protections of the Australian publicKey points:”The deal will strengthen the economic health and well-being of the nation, while protecting environmental, health, and labour rights for Australians”Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the deal will help the economy, create jobs and deliver a more prosperous future for the Australian people.
“It will deliver jobs, growth, more access to goods and services, more jobs in a more secure, stable environment and more economic opportunity for Australians,” Mr Turnbull said on Monday.
The deal, which the Government said was the “most ambitious, comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated”, was signed in Washington last year and now has the support of more than 100 countries.
Mr Turnbull said it would be a “significant milestone” in Australia’s “long journey to prosperity”.
The deal was signed on Monday night by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In a press conference, Mr Trump said the TPP would “ensure the continued success of the American economy and the prosperity of all Americans”.
“This is a landmark deal, a historic deal,” Mr Trump told reporters.
“We’re getting the most of what’s best for the American people.
It’s good for American workers, good for our farmers, good, bad, good,” he added.”
The TPP will also have a significant impact on the American middle class, which is a key part of our national security and prosperity.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Pompeo said the agreement would “enhance our global competitiveness and enhance our national economic and social interests”.
“We will promote free trade and free access for Australians and other foreign investors, and ensure that this agreement does not undermine the protections for workers and the environment that have long been a cornerstone of the US economy,” he said.
“This will also ensure that we are able to ensure that our economy can continue to grow even after this deal is signed.”
In July, Mr Pence praised the deal, calling it “a landmark agreement” that would “create jobs and prosperity for Americans”.
He said that in a speech to business leaders in Austin, Texas, the US President was confident the deal would benefit both the US and Australia.
“In a short period of time, the TPP will have a substantial impact on jobs and economic activity in the United States and the United Kingdom, and it will provide economic opportunity to American workers,” Mr Pence said.
But the deal has faced criticism from some in the US who say the agreement will not be good for the US.
“I think the most important thing is that it was negotiated at the very time that President Trump was being impeached and there was no guarantee that this trade deal would be ratified,” Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday.
“So there was absolutely no guarantee of this deal being ratified.
And so I think the TPP is really going to undermine the American workers and American jobs and that’s a big concern for many Americans.”