A university in the United States has found that the much-heralded Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal will cost the American economy 448,000 jobs and significantly decrease their Gross Domestic Product.
One of 12 nations in the deal, Australia signed the agreement in New Zealand last week.
The Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University near Boston said President Obama’s promises of sweeping economic benefits are wrong and the treaty would actually harm America.
The analysis said U.S. jobs would be “hardest hit” of all the nations in the agreement.
Meanwhile the TPP along with the National Interest Analysis was tabled in the Australian House of Representatives today prompting the Member for Kennedy and leader of Katters Australian Party, Bob Katter to form a cross bench alliance, citing the TPP as the “greatest threat to Australia’s sovereignty in decades.”
Mr Katter, Senator Glenn Lazarus and Greens’ Trade Spokesman Senator Peter Whish-Wilson fronted a joint press conference at Parliament House to oppose the ratification of the TPP, which is expected within weeks.
Whilst full details of the TPP Agreement were laid before Parliament, all three attacked the Government’s own analysis of the Agreement – an analysis which is unlikely to highlight the real losses to Australian manufacturers and producers.
“There has been a hole a mile wide torn in the sovereignty of Australia,” Mr Katter said.
“If there is a product which some foreign corporation is producing or distributing in Australia and they have invested money, then we can’t stop that product from coming in – so what is left of our sovereignty is now vanishing away.
“Andrew Robb, one of the most appropriately named Ministers that I have encountered in my time in Parliament, has greatly erred here, so maybe we should call him Rob-err.
“He has an extraordinary eagerness to please foreign corporations and to get foreign investment – but what he calls foreign investment I call the stealing of our country!
“I defy him in the last 10 years to tell me where any significant jobs have been created by foreign investment, that hadn’t already started 15-20 years ago.
“And in the last 10 years, since this fanatical free trade business has been going on, I defy them to point out to me where there has been one benefit for the Australian economy.”
Mr Katter pointed to the absurdity in the Government’s own figures published today – which cited $109 billion in sales to TPP countries, versus $1,109 of investment in Australia by TPP countries – meaning a staggering ten times more imports than exports, all of which compete with if not eradicate Australian producers and manufacturers.
“Mr Robb says that this agreement will open up avenues for Australian manufactured goods – for iron and steel, ships and auto parts to name a few.
“But manufacturing – it’s already all gone. There is no capital investment by Government, no motor vehicles produced, no white goods produced – no manufacturing left in the country.
“We allow slave labour produced goods into the country without any tariffs or restrictions on them whatsoever.
“Instead of trading aggressively and collectively, we have the weakest trading position of any country on earth.
“TheGovernment keeps pressing ahead talking about foreign investment as if it’s a good thing – when we all know it’s just selling your country off because your country’s broke, the Government’s broke, and the only way to get out of trouble is to sell off the assets,” Mr Katter said.
Katter and Lazarus seek Federal renewable fuels mandate
8 February 2016: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today introduced the Renewable Fuel Bill 2016 into Federal Parliament which will see ethanol flow from every petrol bowser in Australia at a minimum of 5% from 2019 and 10% from 2022.
Mr Katter was supported by fellow Queenslander and Leader of the Glenn Lazarus Team, Senator Glenn Lazarus.
The introduction of the Bill into Federal Parliament follows a win by the KAP in Queensland late last year which will see a 4% ethanol mandate in Queensland from 2018.
Mr Katter paid tribute to the proponents of ethanol in his speech in Parliament today and cited the four fundamental reasons that ethanol should go ahead: health, agriculture, fuel security and petrol prices.
“I think the opening statement should lie with Mr Iemma, the then Premier of New South Wales – he said, ‘I cannot go another day with people’s deaths on my conscience, people that simply don’t have to die’,” Mr Katter said.
“The most distinguished medical journal in the world has released figures – if you double the amount of small particles (in the air with ordinary fuel) then you double the number of deaths from lung disease and pulmonary diseases for the heart and lungs.”
Mr Katter said that ethanol was critical for survival of the sugar and grains industries.
“The lot-feeding industry in Queensland is raging with horror at the thought of ethanol being introduced because it raises the price of grain.
“There are about 10 lot feeders in Australia—they do about 90 per cent of the lot feeding—and almost all of them are foreign owned corporations.
“So should we be looking after the 15,000 grain growers in Australia or the nine foreign corporations that are doing the lot feeding in Australia?
“In sugar we have been closing a sugar mill every two years and our industry is slowly grinding out of existence.
“And why – because we can’t compete. The value of our currency plus the massive direct subsidies in America and Europe make it impossible to compete.
“The Brazilians have been getting $420 per tonne for their sugar, yet we get $340 per tonne – the vast bulk of the Brazilian cane goes to the ethanol stream, while ours goes to the sugar stream,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter also pointed to Australia’s desperately low fuel security.
“Ten years ago we were almost entirely self-sufficient in fuel, now we have almost no domestic source of supply at all.
“We are the only country on earth that has no plan in case of an emergency or defence contingency.
“The NRMA has said that the fuel supply chain in Australia will shorten down to two weeks over the next two years.”
“If ISIS happens to blow up two or three fuel ships coming into Australia, this economy will be crippled as we are the only economy on earth totally dependent on imported fuel.”
Mr Katter said finally that the price of petrol under ethanol made it a no-brainer.
“The world price for petrol is AUD$.65c per litre yet the average price in Australia is AUD$1.15 per litre.
“Every county on earth with the exception of Australia, Africa and the Middle Eastern oil producing companies are relying on ethanol.
“But sending $25,000 million a year to the Middle East to buy oil, instead of sending it into rural Australia, is brainless stupidity.
“And what a ‘no brainer’ it is – to send $25,000 million into regional Australia where we are reeling in pain, or to the middle East,” Mr Katter said.