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Dump trade pact, Greens to ask MPs

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016

Federal parliament will be asked to dump a regional trade pact ahead of a likely US withdrawal under Donald Trump.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, yet to be confirmed by the US Congress, faces an uncertain fate after Mr Trump won last week's presidential election.

"Essentially it's a blueprint for a corporate takeover of government," Greens MP Adam Bandt told ABC radio on Wednesday.

"Now is the time to send a message that we aren't prepared to trade away our sovereignty."

Critics of the 12-nation pact say the TPP establishes stronger rules for child labour, wages, and protecting unions and the environment.

The US Congress has yet to ratify the deal and is unlikely to do so during the so-called lame-duck period between now and the inauguration of Mr Trump on January 20.

The Greens are concerned the new president won't honour his campaign promise to dump the TPP, preferring to re-negotiate a better deal for the US.

The agreement between the US, Australia and 10 other Pacific Rim nations covers about 40 per cent of the world's total trade, and proponents warn that a retreat by Washington will push the other participants closer to China.

Australia's chief negotiator Andrew Robb has argued the TPP would be transformational for the local economy.

His successor as trade minister Steve Ciobo has said it would not make sense to conclude the pact in its current form without the US.

It would change the metrics substantially, he said.

Opposition trade spokesman Jason Clare insists the TPP is dead following Mr Trump's election, with free trade in the US now about as "popular as a snake in a sleeping bag".

"Trade deals aren't the reason people are hurting, but they are a lightning rod for the anger and frustration people are feeling," he writes in the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.

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