The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (‘the TPP-11’) is an international free trade agreement signed by 11 countries on 8 March 2018. The signatories are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.
The TPP-11 is a separate treaty that incorporates provisions of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (‘the TPP’). The TPP had 12 signatories, with the United States as an additional signatory, and had an ultimate goal of open trade and regional integration to set a new standard for global trade. However, in January 2017, the United States sent a letter to the Depositary of the TPP stating their intention to no longer be a party to the TPP. They further noted that they have no legal obligations arising from their signature.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade summarises:
“Importantly for Australia, the TPP-11 ensures that the substantial market access package secured in the original TPP is maintained (i.e. covering goods and services market openings and commitments on regulations on foreign investment). This market access package will be implemented among the TPP-11 Parties, delivering major new opportunities for Australian exporters, investors and firms engaged in international business. The outcome maintains the ambitious scope and high quality standards and rules of the original TPP.”
By 19 October 2018, the Commonwealth Parliament passed three bills required to implement the TPP-11 and begin ratification:
The Customs Bill passed both houses of Parliament on 17 October and received Royal Assent on 19 October. The Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill summarised the Bill's provisions as follows:
“The TPP-11 amendments contained in the [Customs] Bill will enable eligible goods that satisfy the new rules of origin to be entered into Australia at preferential rates of customs duty. The amendments will also impose obligations on exporters of eligible goods to a Party to the TPP-11 for which a preferential rate of customs duty is claimed, and on manufacturers who produce such goods.”
The Tariff Bill similarly passed both houses of Parliament on 17 October and received Royal Assent on 19 October. According to the Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill:
“The purpose of the Customs Tariff Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018 (the Bill) is to amend the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff Act) to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (the TPP-11) by:
The Procurement Bill also passed both houses of Parliament on 18 October and received Royal Assent on 19 October. As outlined in the Explanatory Memorandum of the Bill:
“The Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill 2017 (the Bill) will vest the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC) with jurisdiction (concurrently with the Federal Court of Australia) to grant an injunction and/or order payment of compensation in relation to a contravention of the relevant Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs), so far as those rules relate to a covered procurement.
Before a supplier takes a procurement complaint to the courts the supplier must first complain to the accountable authority of the relevant Commonwealth entity. The accountable authority must investigate the conduct of the subject of the complaint and if no public interest certificate is in force in relation to the covered procurement, the procurement must be suspended. … The Bill will enable Australia to meet international obligations on government procurement that require the Commonwealth to establish or designate an impartial and independent body where suppliers can raise complaints about government procurement processes and be awarded remedies/compensation.”
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The Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018 (CTH) and supporting materials available from Timebase's LawOne service.
The Customs Tariff Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Implementation) Bill 2018 (CTH) and supporting materials available from Timebase's LawOne service.
The Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill 2017 (CTH) and supporting materials available from Timebase's LawOne service.
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