from ZDNet Website
Shadow Trade Minister Penny Wong
has called for the full text of
the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
to be made public
before Australia signs onto the agreement.
Labor spokesperson for Trade, Senator Penny Wong, has called on the Coalition government to release the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement before it is signed by Australia, in order to assure that the government isn't signing away the country's rights in areas including copyright.
The TPP agreement is a currently being negotiated between,
...aimed at simplifying trade between the 12 nations.
The negotiations have been held confidential, and text of the agreement has not been made public. DFAT trade negotiation officials said in Senate Estimates last week that it is standard practice for international agreements to be negotiated in private with the text not made public until the agreement has been finalized.
However, last month, an August draft of the text of one of the most controversial and still-outstanding chapters of the agreement, the intellectual property chapter, was leaked by whistleblowing website Wikileaks.
Critics of the TPP agreement have warned that the draft text indicates Australia could be signing up for significant new penalties for users caught sharing copyright-infringing material online, and potentially new obligations for ISPs to enforce copyright for the rights holders.
The draft text that was leaked was said to be from August, back when Labor was still in government in Australia, under the oversight of Richard Marles. ZDNet understands that negotiators haven't been told to change their position on any copyright-related parts of the TPP agreement under the new Coalition Government.
However, in an opinion piece published today, Wong has now indicated that Labor has its reservations about the TPP agreement.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb is currently in Singapore with the trade ministers from other nations currently part of the negotiations seeking to get the agreement finalized and signed before the end of 2013.
Wong called on the full text of the agreement to be released before it is signed by the Australian government (or ANY other government...).
Although the Labor government would have had access to the draft of the text, and did not release it prior to the election, a spokesperson for Wong told ZDNet that the main concern was what was in the final text, which would be vastly different to what was included in the drafts.