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There’s no point to Australia’s push to ratify the TPP

Elizabeth Thurbon writes in The Conversation (25.1.17) about the seeming collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal after President Trump withdrew US support. The author argues that, since the TPP can’t go ahead in any recognisable form, it’s time the Australian government let it go.

‘With all the debates on whether China will join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement  now that President Trump has officially rejected it, or if the TPP can exist as a 12 nations minus one agreement, you’d be forgiven for thinking it still could go ahead. It can’t.

‘The agreement itself states that to come into effect, six of the 12 original signatories must ratify the treaty, and together these six must represent 85% of the total GDP of all 12 original signatories. The US alone accounts for a massive 60% of this combined GDP. So US rejection is indeed a deal breaker.

‘What is surprising, on the other hand, is Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s declaration that he will push ahead with the TPP’s implementing legislation in Australia, despite America’s withdrawal. So what is the sense in such a move?

‘Not surprisingly, domestic politics goes some way towards explaining Turnbull’s actions. The Turnbull-led government – like the Abbot-led one before it – has put trade agreements at the centre of its otherwise sparse economic policy agenda.’

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