Labor looks forward to examining the details of the free trade agreement concluded with Indonesia and urges the Liberals to conduct independent modelling on the agreement.
The previous Labor Government launched negotiations with Indonesia in 2012 because we recognised that our trading relationship with Indonesia is massively underdone.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country by population. By 2050, it is projected to be the world’s fourth largest economy.
Yet, it is currently our 13th largest trading partner.
Two way trade between Indonesia and Australia has actually gone backwards over the past five years.
Indonesia is our next door neighbour but we barely look over the fence. We don’t to talk to each other or work with each other as much as we should.
More than 18,000 Australian companies export to New Zealand at the moment. Only about 2,000 export to Indonesia.
If this is a good trade agreement it could not only increase trade, it could potentially bring our two countries closer together.
A future Shorten Labor Government will build on this agreement by formalising annual meetings between our Treasurers and Trade Ministers in an Economic and Investment 2+2.
Labor will also improve the way trade agreements are negotiated by:
• Commissioning independent economic modelling of every new agreement.
• Disclosing the Government’s goals on the commencement of negotiations.
• Providing public updates on each round of negotiations.
• Engaging in more intensive consultation with a wider range of stakeholders.
• Engaging in more intensive consultation and briefings of Parliamentarians.
• Releasing draft texts during negotiations where this is feasible.
• Tabling the text of proposed agreements in Parliament before signing the agreements.
• Commissioning the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties to conduct an inquiry into the treaty making process.
SATURDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2018
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