A democracy deficit?
The results of the survey of the Australia Institute reveal that even though only 11 per cent of respondents were aware of the TPP, the majority, once informed of it, supported greater transparency and accountability in the negotiation process and had strong views on what should and should not be included.
Australians hold serious concerns about a secretive trade deal which risks a blow-out in the cost of medicines, less Australian television content and relaxed labelling of genetically modified foods.
The Federal Government has also indicated it may approve a clause which would allow foreign companies to sue Australia if they felt their profits were being harmed by a government decision, for example keeping the price of medicines down under our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or regulating coal seam gas exploration. It is only when draft texts are leaked that real debate occurs in the community and government has to respond.