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Take action on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement

03 July 2015 By AFTINET

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement was finalised in November 2014 but the text was only released on 17 June 2015. It appears that the Australian Government made huge concessions on temporary labour and investor rights in its desperation to complete the deal.

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AFTINET's preliminary analysis reveals that the Australian Government has made arrangements for Chinese investors to increase the use of temporary migrant workers. It has also agreed that Chinese investors will be able to sue Australian governments if they can claim that a change in law or policy "harms" their investment, known as Investor-State Disputes or ISDS, but those provisions are unfinished and ambiguous.

An unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding separate from the text of the trade agreement gives Chinese investors in projects valued over $150 million additional rights to bring in temporary migrant workers. Critical media commentary includes Sydney Morning Herald articles by Peter Martin and Michael West, Kyla Tienhaara in the Canberra Times and Joanna Howe in The Conversation.

The text will be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and by the Senate Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Committee. The closing date is for submissions is July 24. It will be important that these Committees receive a wide range of submissions.

If you are an individual member, and want to do a short submission, there are points you can use for both Inquiries on our website. AFTINET and other organisations will do longer submissions. AFTINET’s longer draft will be circulated shortly.

Parliament will only get to vote on the implementing legislation, not on the whole text of the agreement.

Polling shows there is already strong public opposition to the Agreement. Email your MP now to tell them to vote against the China FTA legislation.


Click here to read this on the AFTINET website


Contact Details
Name: Greg McLean, ASU Assistant National Secretary
Telephone: 0419 796 801