The Minerals Council of Australia is urging the federal parliament to back the Trans-Pacific Partnership so that its benefits can start flowing to Australians as soon as possible.
In a submission to the parliament’s joint standing committee on treaties, the council said the 11-country strong trade agreement will mean stronger growth, more jobs, higher incomes, lower prices and more choice for Australian consumers.
The submission reviews 10 independent modelling studies on the TPP-11 which average an estimated gain of more than $15 billion for Australia in terms of gross domestic product.
The submission also debunks anti-trade ‘scare campaigns’ that claim the TPP-11’s temporary entry of business persons and labour market testing provisions will lead to an influx of temporary migrants into Australia.
‘It shows that identical labour market testing provisions in the China-Australia free trade agreement, which has now been in place for two years, have seen the number of 457 visas granted to Chinese nationals falling by 35 per cent,’ the council’s interim chief executive David Byers said in a statement.
The TPP-11 agreement is between Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru and Chile. The US pulled out of the deal when Donald Trump became president.
For the resources industry, the benefits of the TPP-11 include cuts in tariffs on iron ore, copper, nickel, butane, propane, LNG and refined petroleum along with improved market access for Australian mining services businesses, Mr Byers said.
The agreement also reduces tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods and services between member countries and adopts new rules to encourage economic integration in investment, e-commerce, state-owned enterprises, intellectual property and telecommunications.
‘The Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade agreement will deliver economic, social and strategic benefits for Australia and should be supported by parliament so that its benefits can start flowing to Australians as soon as possible,’ he said.