Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT), has tabled a report on its inquiry into requests by China and other applicants to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
There was support for entry by UK, Taiwan and Korea and in relation to China the Committee recommended the Australian Government work with other CPTPP members to, ‘encourage China to re-establish full trading relations including ending its coercive trade measures and reengaging in ministerial dialogue, and to demonstrate an ability and willingness to commit to the CPTPP’s high standards, prior to supporting the commencement of an accession process’.
ACBC, which made a submission and appeared as a witness for the Inquiry, was quoted extensively in the report. ACBC President David Olsson made the case for negotiating with China to join the agreement, noting it was “an opportunity to address the behind-the-border, non-tariff barriers that continue to impede Australia’s exports.” He also argued accession to the agreement would support China in achieving its aim of higher quality opening up, which has guided its economic policy for years.
Commenting on the recommendations, Committee Member Ted O’Brien MP said, “It’s up to China if it wishes to re-engage with Australia and I hope it does because that would enable the discussions that are necessary to determine whether an accession process should commence.”
Submission – Expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership