05 July 2016

While at the Other Ocean………

It appears that the elections called by Malcolm Trumbull just made Australia's approval of the TPP next to impossible in the near future:
With a new Senate likely to be hostile to free trade deals, the road to signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership just got bumpy, writes Richard Denniss.

One thing that is certain after Saturday’s election, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead, and along with it the Coalition’s economic agenda and narrative. The free trade agreements that Andrew Robb signed with China, Korea, and Japan were some of Tony Abbott’s proudest achievements, yet they are exactly the sort of deals that Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon, and Jacqui Lambie believe cost Australian manufacturing workers jobs.

And thanks to Malcolm Turnbull’s new Senate voting rules and double dissolution election, Hanson, Xenophon, and Lambie are now the block of votes that the Coalition will need to win over to pass their legislation when the ALP and Greens are opposed.
This may not kill the TPP, but it has the effect of making the timetable Obama that wants (he sees it as a presidential legacy issus), where there is a lame duck vote, next to impossible.

It is not clear who will win the election, but it is clear that the Colalition will not have the votes to pass TPP without significant support from smaller parties because the Senate is looking to be a complete mess, and unlike other upper houses in the British Commonwealth, the Australian Senate is much more powerful, being somewhat analogous to the US Senate in power.

Again, good news, because much like CETA and the TPIP, the TPP is a horribly flawed "trade deal."


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