SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES
DEPUTY CHAIR JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON TREATIES
Labor today calls on the Government to take a stand on the restoration of democracy in Myanmar, following the recommendations in a report on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
The report released by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended that the Government pursue the inclusion of labour, human rights and environmental provisions in the first review of RCEP, scheduled for two years from when the Treaty comes into force.
Labor has consistently called for targeted sanctions against human rights abusers in Myanmar.
Government members have joined Labor in calling for Scott Morrison to take action on Myanmar at the same time as ratifying RCEP.
JSCOT’s Labor members have also drawn attention to ambiguities in reference to Australia’s capacity to regulate in the national interest with respect to aged care. An explicit carve-out was made for child care, but care for Australia’s seniors was not included in the RCEP agreement. They also expressed concern about the possibility of attempts to include an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism in the first RCEP review and called for the inclusion of a recommendation that the Government oppose any such move in its trade negotiations.
This is the second Government-chaired committee to recommend the Morrison-Joyce Government take strong action against the coup-leaders in Myanmar, including imposing targeted sanctions.
Labor will consider the enabling legislation to ratify RCEP when it is introduced to the Parliament.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.