This report contains the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties review of the following treaty action:
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Governments of: Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam and associated side letters.
The inquiry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement lapsed at the end of the 44th Parliament. The Treaty was re-referred at the beginning of the 45th Parliament and the current Committee resolved to accept the evidence received by the previous Committee and not call for further submissions. The Committee did conduct further public hearings.
The Committee’s resolution of appointment empowers it to inquire into any treaty to which Australia has become a signatory, on the treaty being tabled in Parliament.
The treaties, and matters arising from them, are evaluated to ensure that ratification is in the national interest, and that unintended or negative effects on Australians will not arise.
Prior to tabling, major treaty actions are subject to a National Interest Analysis (NIA), prepared by Government. This document considers arguments for and against the treaty, outlines the treaty obligations and any regulatory or financial implications, and reports the results of consultations undertaken with State and Territory Governments, Federal and State and Territory agencies, and with industry or non-government organisations.
A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) may accompany the NIA. The RIS provides an account of the regulatory impact of the treaty action where adoption of the treaty will involve a change in the regulatory environment for Australian business. The treaty examined in this report required a RIS.
The Committee takes account of these documents in its examination of the treaty texts, in addition to other evidence taken during the inquiry program.
Copies of the treaties considered in this report and associated documentation may be obtained from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website at:
The treaty action reviewed in this report was advertised on the Committee’s website from the date of tabling. Submissions for the treaty action were requested by 4 March 2016.
Invitations were made to all State Premiers, Territory Chief Ministers and Presiding Officers of each Parliament to lodge submissions. The Committee also invited submissions from individuals and organisations with an interest in the treaties reviewed.
The Committee held public hearings into the treaties in Canberra on 22 February, 17 October and 7 November 2016, in Sydney on 26 September 2016, Perth on 5 October 2016 and Melbourne on 7 October 2016.
The transcripts of evidence from the public hearing may be obtained from the Committee Secretariat or accessed through the Committee’s website.
A list of submissions is at Appendix A.
A list of witnesses who appeared at the public hearing is at Appendix B.