You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Treaties committee endorses TPP trade pact

AAP logoAAP 29/11/2016

The federal government is being urged to consider having future trade deals assessed by an independent body.

A coalition-dominated parliamentary committee on Wednesday recommended proposed agreements be analysed by an organisation like the Productivity Commission.

It also recommended the government think about allowing "security-cleared representatives from business and civil society" be a part of free-trade agreement negotiations.

Last year, Greens trade spokesman Peter Whish-Wilson wrote to the prime minister requesting the entire text of Trans-Pacific Partnership be referred to the commission for a full economic assessment.

The treaties committee has recommended Australia ratify the controversial regional trade deal, even though it might not go ahead.

President-elect Donald Trump has said he will begin a United States withdrawal from his first day in office.

But committee chair and Liberal MP Stuart Robert told parliament it was important the government pushed on with its commitment to free trade to make sure benefits of the TPP were not lost.

"The Australian government should work to retain as much of the benefits that the TPP offers as it can in any future negotiations with current TPP partners or with others," Mr Robert said.

Labor MP and deputy chair Michael Danby said the agreement, as it stands, had some modest economic and strategic benefits but the opposition was concerned about some aspects.

If the other 11 countries wanted to omit the US so the deal could go ahead, it would need to be reviewed again, he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon