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Stop the TPP in the Senate

After a marathon round of negotiations in Atlanta, the 12 negotiating countries have reached an agreement on the monstrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.

While widespread public opposition to the TPP, gave Trade Minister Robb little room to sell out Australians' access to affordable medicines, we still don't know the details of the agreement!

Even though the deal has been finalised, the details of the agreement still remain a secret – as we all know, the devil's in the details.

We do know that the TPP still includes ISDS provisions that will allow multinational corporations to sue Australian governments, putting our health care system and environmental standards at risk.

However, it's not over yet. The TPP legislation still needs to make it through the Senate, where Labor and the crossbench senators' votes will be critical.

We've heard some strong words against ISDS provisions, but it will take more than words to stop a bad deal from getting over the line. We need to know where the senators stand.

Can you contact your senator and call on them to oppose the agreement in the Senate?

What can Labor and the crossbenchers do right now?

While it won't be possible for Parliament to modify the text of the agreement, the Senate will have an opportunity to vote on the TPP deal at large. Labor and the crossbenchers could commit to stand against the TPP by voting against the implementing legislation in the Senate.

  • Your senator could confirm that they oppose the ISDS provisions in the TPP. These provisions, would allow foreign corporations to sue governments for making laws that could hurt their bottom line. We know that the Howard Government and the Gillard Government have stood against ISDS provisions in trade deals with the US in the past.

  • Your senator could formally oppose the TPP. Right now, the Australian public has few details on the deal, and what we do know tells us that the costs very likely outweigh the benefits. Your senator could come out in opposition to the TPP.
Here are some talking points you may like to use in your message to your MP:

  • Australians don't want to see us make an agreement that would give special privileges for foreign companies (including companies from the United States) to sue our government.

    Leaks show that the government is considering signing onto a version of the agreement which includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses. This is risky: it would give foreign corporations the power to sue our governments for regulations that they make in the public interest – but that could hurt corporations bottom line. Previous Australian governments, including the Howard and Gillard governments, refused to sign onto similar agreements. Your MP could stand against the inclusion of ISDS provisions in the TPP.

  • Australians don't know much about what's in the TPP – but what we know is bad news.

    Most of the information we have so far is from leaks to media or groups like Wikileaks, and what we're seeing there is alarming. Health experts, including Doctors Without Borders, are still concerned about the implications for costs and prices of health products, Law Professors have said that it could have huge impacts on Intellectual Property and the criminalisation of private online activities, experts say the TPP poses risks to food labelling (read more here). This agreement is broad and sweeping - and from what we know about it so far, it's not something many Australians would be comfortable signing onto. Our political leaders should stand up for our sovereignty and stand against the TPP.


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Will you contact your senator?

Use the form below to send an email to your senator:

What to say:

  • Introduce yourself. Explain you're a local constituent. If you've voted for this party in the past, it's good to mention this.

  • Tell them your concerns. Be direct: "I'd like to see you stand against the TPP" or, "I urge you to stand against the provisions in the TPP that would allow foreign corporations to sue governments."

  • Be courteous. A polite message from a constituent, will go a lot further than a hostile one.

  • Ask for a reply.

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