Referral of the bills
On 30 October 2014, the provisions of the following bills were referred
to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for inquiry and
report by 27 November 2014:
Customs Amendment (Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement
Implementation) Bill 2014; and
Customs Tariff Amendment (Japan-Australia Economic Partnership
Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014.
The reasons for the referral of the bills cited by the Selection of
Bills Committee were:
to enable thorough scrutiny of the provisions of the legislation;
to supplement the inquiry of the Joint Standing Committee on
Treaties into the Agreement.
As their titles indicate, the bills implement parts of a bilateral trade
agreement, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). JAEPA
was signed by the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, and Prime Minister of
Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe, on 8 July 2014 in Canberra. The treaty text together
with the national interest analysis (NIA), regulation impact statement (RIS)
and annexures was tabled in the Parliament on 14 July 2014.
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) tabled its report into
JAEPA on 28 October 2014. JSCOT concluded:
The Committee is satisfied that JAEPA has the potential to
provide Australian business and industry with a range of profitable
opportunities. The Committee believes JAEPA will provide a net benefit to the
economy and is in the National interest and recommends that the Treaty should
be ratified and binding treaty action be taken.
The Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb MP,
introduced the bills into the House of Representatives on 29 October 2014.
Conduct of inquiry
The committee advertised the inquiry on its website and in The
Australian newspaper. The committee also wrote to individuals and
organisations likely to have an interest in the bill, drawing their attention
to the inquiry and inviting them to make written submissions.
The committee received 13 submissions to the inquiry. These submissions
are listed at Appendix 1, and are available on the committee's website: www.aph.gov.au/senate_fadt.
Structure of report
Chapter 2 provides an overview of the bills. Chapter 3 discusses key
issues raised during the inquiry and contains the committee's view and
The committee acknowledges the short period of time available for those
who made submissions. The committee thanks all those who assisted with the
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