Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

3.60    The committee recommends that parliamentarians and their principal advisers be granted access to draft treaty text upon request and under conditions of confidentiality throughout the period of treaty negotiations. The committee recommends that the government provides an access framework and supporting administrative arrangements.

Recommendation 2

3.88    The committee recommends that the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties adopt a process of ongoing oversight of trade agreements under negotiation. This process is to include:

Recommendation 3

3.90    The committee recommends that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights consider the human rights implications of all proposed treaties prior to ratification and report its findings to parliament.

Recommendation 4

4.63    The committee recommends that on entering treaty negotiations, Australia seeks agreement from the negotiating partner(s) for the final draft text of the agreement to be tabled in parliament prior to authorisation for signature. In the absence of agreement, the government should table a document outlining why it is in the national interest for Australia to enter negotiations.

Recommendation 5

4.66    The committee recommends that, subject to the agreement of negotiating countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade publish additional supporting information on treaties under negotiation, such as plain English explanatory documents and draft treaty text.

Recommendation 6

4.72    The committee recommends that stakeholders with relevant expertise be given access to draft treaty text under conditions of confidentiality during negotiations. The committee recommends that the government develop access arrangements for stakeholders representing a range of views from industry, civil society, unions, consumer groups, academia and non-government organisations.

Recommendation 7

5.28    The committee recommends that the government, prior to commencing negotiations for trade agreements, tables in parliament a detailed explanatory statement setting out the priorities, objectives and reasons for entering negotiations. The statement should consider the economic, regional, social, cultural, regulatory and environmental impacts which are expected to arise.

Recommendation 8

5.31    The committee recommends that a cost-benefit analysis of trade agreements be undertaken by an independent body, such as the Productivity Commission, and tabled in parliament prior to the commencement of negotiations or as soon as is practicable afterwards. The cost-benefit analysis should inform the government's approach to negotiations.

5.32    The committee further recommends that:

Recommendation 9

5.35    The committee recommends that the government develop a model trade agreement that is to be used as a template for future negotiations. The model agreement should cover controversial topics such as investor-state dispute settlement, intellectual property, copyright, and labour and environmental standards and be developed through extensive public and stakeholder consultation.

Recommendation 10

5.57    The committee recommends that National Interest Analyses (NIAs) be prepared by an independent body such as the Productivity Commission and, wherever possible, presented to the government before an agreement is authorised by cabinet for signature. NIAs should be comprehensive and address specifically the foreseeable environmental, health and human rights effects of a treaty.

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