KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has today continued his insurgency against the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership-11 (TPP-11) as it heads into the Senate by unleashing a tirade on the Government’s claim that Australia will be ‘last in the queue’ should the bill be shot down.
“Most of my last speeches in Parliament have been what I’ve hoped are fierce attacks upon the hypocrisy of free trade; upon our industry representative organisations particularly in agriculture. All we’ve got out of these bodies in Canberra is a clapping of hands for every free trade deal.
“The Federal Government couldn’t drive the drover’s dog to a drink in the Murranji Track, and yet, they live in a world where their peculiar Adam Smith policies eliminate any reference to the assumptions upon which free markets are valid.
“Adam Smith would turn in his grave if his principles had been used to abolish arbitration in the dairy industry when there were 15,000 sellers in the market, and only two buyers: “Woolworths and Coles”.
“These people would fail the most elementary economics course at a reputable university and yet they continue on with the most crude and snivelling supine pathetic resort to the mantra of free trade when it has removed our car industry, made us petrol mendicants, blast production, halved our cement and steel industries and reduced us to two quarries: iron ore and coal.
“Take note, if the TPP-11 is signed it will be the greatest blow to democracy in 300 years, and will amount to nothing more than a new form of Corporate Colonialism.
“This agreement is not about trade, it’s about sovereignty,” Mr Katter said. “Governments will now be stripped of their power to regulate the behaviour of overseas companies and will face legal consequences if they do. The cigarette smoking case is a classic example.
“Companies will be able to come here under certain terms and conditions and no Government will be able to change those without fairly horrific consequences, if at all. It takes away our sovereignty and hands it over to the giant foreign owned corporations.
“Once in place, withdrawing from the TPP will ensure the wrath of countries infinitely more powerful than our own.
“Over the last two centuries America has constantly enforced these principals upon the Latin/American countries and reduced them to grinding poverty if not quite mendicant states”
Mr Katter expressed concern over the foreign workers who would be let into the country under the TPP agreement.
“Foreign workers will pour in and they are already at high levels, there are 600,000 foreign workers a year coming into an economy creating only 200,000 jobs a year. They are taking our jobs and undermining our pay and conditions, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Mr Katter said free trade had ravaged multiple agricultural industries in Australia, pointing to the US Free Trade Agreement as an example.
“The American free trade deal was about dairy, beef and sugar. The value to dairying was quoted as being the value of one free ice-cream a week for each farmer. The cattle industry has always had a fairly good deal on access to the US and the sugar industry was wiped like a dirty rag. It got nothing. The powerful ‘Florida cane mafia’, as they are called, laughed.
“The Americans on the other hand, wanted quarantine dramatically weakened. Our quarantine was dramatically undermined and our drug and pharmaceutical rules of entry dramatically weakened. They achieve both their goals, and it was hailed in the American congress as ‘wonderful for America’ and I quote: “I know Australia, there is a view that they got shafted, but I think there was some things in there for them”. Yes, there was, but we couldn’t find them.
“The Government told us how wonderful it was for us, but there were no specifics.
“These are the people that have halved our wage structure in the mining industry. They say labour costs are killing us. A decent income for our workers is what we strive for in this country. And what was once our great pride and achievement in the days of the Bjelke-Petersen/ McEwen Country Party governments, now it is apparently a mark of shame.
“I absolutely believe we are now retreating back to the days of colonialism, the only difference being that it is Corporate Colonialism and not Imperial Colonialism.
“We will continue the fight against the TPP-11 in the Senate by introducing an amendment and we plead with all Senators not to turn the control of their country into the hands of foreign corporations.”