Union movement makes a paper tiger from regional trade pact

16 Nov 2020 |

The union movement’s scare campaign about Australia’s participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a paper tiger. The ACTU is attacking new opportunities for trade that in reality will generate jobs, improve living standards, and help us on the road to recovery from COVID-19.

“Bringing together our regional trading partners will be critical to Australia’s economic success and the growth of jobs and local businesses following the devastating toll of COVID-19,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.

“RCEP highlights the inextricable link between trade and economic success. The success of smaller and larger businesses alike in creating jobs will be boosted by this agreement.

“We are disappointed the ACTU is trying to scare Australians by claiming local jobs will diminish. It is a paper tiger. It’s important such baseless fear campaigns do not spread.

“RCEP does not reduce Australian jobs, or the protections enjoyed by working Australians. It does offer improved market access for our services sector. For much of Australia’s production sector, earlier bilateral and regional agreements are already delivering jobs and opportunities.

“Australia relies on international trade, investment and movement of people for much of our success. We always have and we always will. Internationally engaged businesses generate jobs, and the Australian economy and community benefits from the improvements in competitiveness and consumer choice that global trade delivers.

“It is time for the Federal Government to undertake a full economic assessment of trade agreements across with all of our RCEP partners and look to remove older and outdated agreements in favour of this latest agreement. Reducing the tangle of red tape created by overlapping older agreements can deliver real benefits.”

The signatories to the RCEP represent Australia’s most important trading partners across Asia. India helped shaped the agreement and is welcome to join in later, while the regional rules-based system has been strengthened and unified in this major new agreement.

“As we broaden our supply chains and seek new investment, common trading rules and procedures will be critical to boosting confidence, reducing the costs of doing business and generating jobs in Australia.”

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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