Evidence against Globalism given to Australian Joint Standing Committee on Treaties

(Page TR 624) [11.04 p.m.]

JENKINS, Mr Brian Joseph, Honorary Secretary, StopMAI (WA) Campaign Coalition
CHAIR-Welcome, Mr Jenkins. Would you like to make an opening statement?
Mr Jenkins-StopMAI is an informal coalition, which has been in progress for about three years. It was created to examine and to raise public awareness on the issue of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments. It is because we believe that those issues are being carried over into the World Trade Organisation that we have decided not only to continue but also to retain the name StopMAI.
CHAIR-Catchy title.

Commonwealth of Australia
Proof, Committee Hansard
Friday, 20 April 2001
Western Australia
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Mr Jenkins-I would like to very much thank the parliament and the JSCOT for making this opportunity available. We lobbied loud and long in the early days against the idea that consultations only took place in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, and it is terrific to see them happening in Perth. We regard that as partly an achievement from our complaints.
CHAIR-In any event, we are pleased to be here.

Commonwealth of Australia
Senators and Members in attendance: Senators Coonan and Ludwig, Mr Baird, Mr Hardgrave and Mr Wilkie

Mr Jenkins-I am here to assist the committee. StopMAI is not a propagandist organisation; it is an organisation of citizens which is primarily concerned with obtaining information. We were formed because of the difficulty of obtaining any information in the days of the MAI. I might add that the parliamentary representation which we have in great abundance in Western Australia did not assist us very much in getting that information. It was not until we started to receive the first formal responses from Treasury in very highly pruned sort of documents that we had any information from our government, and this was nothing compared to the vast amounts of information that we were able to get from the Internet and from colleagues in other countries. One of the themes of our organisation is that we are not just concerned with local issues, we are concerned with what is happening in other parts of the world. Our program is not just concerned with the WTO in Seattle or Qatar but also, as you have seen, with the World Bank and IMF in Washington, the WEF in Melbourne, the European Union in, say, Gothenburg, and so on. So we have a program of examining events in all parts of the world which are related, otherwise we would not be doing it.
The written submission that we put in was essentially an international log of claims and personally I am prepared to stand by it, I very proud of that statement, but some of the particular clauses will not be subscribed to by individual members of our organisation, StopMAI. We have a variety of people, including some trade union people and people associated with religious groups, though not, I hasten to add, the people who have just presented evidence. Principally our interests are in democracy, the protection of the environment, the protection of culture, human rights and all that sort of thing. But I would stress that we are not a doctrinaire body. We are volunteers; we have no funding. We are not, strictly speaking, an NGO, although I think we come into that category. Unless you want to ask me more about the nature of StopMAI and how we operate-
Mr BAIRD-That would be good.
Mr Jenkins-If you would like me to go into that a little now, I will do that. Unlike some of the other organisations you are dealing with, we are not coming from some sort of social objective. For instance, we are not working for the Communist Party to take over the world: when a vacuum is created, new power structures will be created and so on. We are not into that necessarily, although some of our members may well subscribe to that sort of thing. We are into obtaining information and promoting that information, raising public awareness about issues. We do this by conducting public meetings. We have quite a few public meetings in Western Australia.
Western Australia is not the best place to discuss these issues. We have never had any response, for instance, from the Western Australian government to any inquiries, whether they be about trade policy, the ramifications in local government or the environment or what have you. There is a complete brick wall between members of civil society such as ourselves and the bureaucracy of Western Australia. We have permeated the bureaucracy in Canberra to some degree, because the onus is placed on Canberra to communicate with civil society. This came first of all from the OECD and now it is coming from the WTO. For instance, in November last year we initiated a coming together of other groups interested in globalisation. When I say 'globalisation', I am aware of the semantic problem with the word. We use the term 'globalism' or 'corporate globalism' to describe what we are against, which is essentially the movement by corporate interests to obtain the most significant economic power in the world.
CHAIR-What is the status of the groups that you refer to in your letter which you sent with your submission to the committee? The letter, dated 31 August, said:
There follows a submission in relation to the reference which is endorsed by the following organisations-
Are you claiming to represent each of those organisations or are they affiliated in some way and, if so, what is the process? How many members belong to StopMAI as opposed to other groups that might be sympathetic and prepared to endorse a generic statement, if I can put it that way?
Mr Jenkins-To answer the first part of your question, the purpose of that list is to indicate that the statement which follows headed, 'WTO shrink or sink -- the turnaround agenda' is an international statement which is not owned by my organisation but which is subscribed to, in principle, by StopMAI. It is also subscribed to by all of those Australian organisations which I listed there. They are included in 521 international organisations -- organisations in overseas countries as well as Australia -- that had signed that statement by 31 August when the submission was made.
CHAIR-What you are saying is that StopMAI also endorses this statement?
Mr Jenkins-That is right. This is the company we are in as far as Australia is concerned.
Senator LUDWIG-Did you seek permission from the author to put that statement in?
Mr Jenkins-Yes. The nature of communications in what we call the international movement against globalisation is a copyright free environment. Things are done openly.
Senator LUDWIG-Because Hansard is published we have to be a little more-
Mr Jenkins-These endorsements are published on the Internet. You can go to the web site of the Ralph Nader organisation, Public Citizen, in the United States and you will find that there is a list of all the people who have subscribed to it. This goes for a number of other similar documents. For instance, the Westminster United Nations Association has a document called Charter 99, which is addressed to the United Nations, fundamentally. It lists some thousands of signatories ranging from members of parliament to the great unwashed.
Senator LUDWIG-So 'WTO shrink or sink' is a statement that you have taken off the web site. You have attached your letterhead to it and submitted it to the committee?
Mr Jenkins-There is a little more than that. We actually participated in the framing of the document. It is a co-operatively framed document but we do not necessarily own every word in it. As a matter of principle we are co-owners.
CHAIR-How many people are in StopMAI and how do you join? Where do you operate?
Mr Jenkins-StopMAI meets monthly. We have regular meetings on the last Saturday of every month. Meetings last for about two or three hours. Formal business -- the matter of reports, et cetera -- is done at those meetings. We usually have about 20-odd people attending. When we hold a public meeting the numbers we attract are about 150 to 200. Our convention, which we held in November, when people had to pay money to go -- about $40 or $50 -- attracted about 200 people. Those people are not representative of any particular part of the political spectrum. They are from all parts.
CHAIR-How many members does StopMAI have?
Mr Jenkins-We do not have a formal membership structure. We are not anxious to be manipulated, taken over, or generally assailed on the basis of some sort of corporate structure.
CHAIR-It is more an informal group?
Mr Jenkins-It is an informal group.
Mr WILKIE-That is the WA branch we are talking about.
Mr Jenkins-This is the WA branch, yes. We keep minutes and we have a properly structured way of going about things. Most of our communication takes place outside meetings anyway -- an email-
CHAIR-We were talking with a previous witness about how you would identify NGOs. You said you are probably not an NGO. You would not regard yourself as representative of anything other than perhaps your views of those and the people who wish to associate themselves with it.
Mr Jenkins-We are a forum for planning information, assessing information and raising public awareness. We welcome any contribution to that. We have people in the group who are scientists, for instance; we have people who are lawyers.
CHAIR-But presumably so long as their views are reasonably consistent with yours. If I turned up and said, 'I would love to be a member. I love the WTO. I think it is the greatest thing we have ever had and I want to go and agitate in your group,' I probably would not be very welcome, would I?
Mr Jenkins-We have some members, for instance, who say, 'The way to handle Australian trade is not to have it, to have a fortress Australia situation,' and, 'We should not be sending coal to Newcastle.'
Mr BAIRD-If you look at Australia's primary production, where we produce five times the amount of agricultural product than we actually consume, what do you think would be the result for those people on the land if we did actually adopt fortress Australia? How would we talk to them and address them?
Mr Jenkins-This raises very large issues. It is not simply a matter of 'We produce five times more than we need'. The matter is that as a result of having been a British colony and a granary for half the world we have got into this overproduction situation.
CHAIR-What do we do with the farmers? Seven out of 10 farmers would not have a job unless we had that order of exports.
Mr Jenkins-In 50 years they may not be there. I believe the agricultural sector is dwindling anyhow.
Mr BAIRD-If you went through Western Australia and if four-fifths of the need for farmers would disappear -- and then in terms of the minerals, because it is a very important role, and you were here for the presentation that 37 per cent of the GDP relates to exports -- we do not then have an export industry. What is everyone going to do?
Mr Jenkins-I am very conscious of these things. When I raised the example that one of our members had those views I did not for a moment expect you to take on that we were all like that. I, for instance, have been a public relations consultant with briefs from the pharmaceutical industry and mining companies. I write-
Senator LUDWIG-What encouraged us was you tended to defend the issue. That is what set us off, so to speak.
Mr Jenkins-The point you raise about agriculture shows that there are issues that are not being addressed by people who are interested in trade. For instance, the cost of combating the desalination of soil and the land degradation is not being met by the people who have made the profits from the mining, wheat or the introduction of inappropriate animals to inappropriate pieces of terrain. No, those costs are being socialised and met by the public. That is just one of many issues that arise. Another one is: is it fair to treat what I call extensive agriculture, which is agriculture for export, under the same rules that must apply to subsistence farmers or to small farmers in Europe, where farming has different cultural values from Australian farming, where indeed there are many more farmers per square mile than there are in Australia? The attempt to create a one size fits all regimen to cover all of those farmers is obviously going to lead to inequities. That is another of the issues that we talk about.
Mr BAIRD-Do you think there have been any benefits at all in Australia being involved with the WTO?
Mr Jenkins-Speaking personally, yes. Indeed, I would have even gone down the road to some degree with the OECD, except that we are in an adversarial situation -- not because we want to be but because the people who are pushing for the reforms and the liberalisation are only interested in one side of the story; that is, to release themselves from obligations whilst giving themselves the freedom to cross boundaries with their capital, with their workforces if need be.
You have a rules-based system for trade, but we should request that the rules-based system be extended to cover obligations. For instance, if you are goldmining in Romania, there should be obligations not to pollute the Danube with cyanide and so on; if you are transporting oil across the sea, you should have obligations in respect of what you have to do if you have an oil spill. Those factors are not currently obligatory -- they cannot be enforced. The WTO has very good teeth, so that what is enacted in the WTO has a pretty good chance of coming about. That is why the people who are pushing for these reforms do not want to see any sort of corporate responsibility or standards -- be they in human rights or environmental standards -- incorporated into those agreements. As far as some including myself are concerned, there are a lot of benefits in the rules based regime as long as it is a balanced regime.
CHAIR-For the benefit of the committee, can you provide some concrete examples of where the operation of current WTO agreements are impacting adversely in Australia on any group in terms of inequity, being contrary to environmental expectations and standards, being contrary to human rights -- those sorts of arguments?
Mr Jenkins-The whole movement for liberalisation in the past 20 years or so has obviously made enormous changes to the Australian way of life. Speaking as a citizen-
CHAIR-But where are the advantages and the disadvantages. We have the figures, but we are asking you why we should be critical of the current WTO agreements and the way they apply in Australia -- who is not benefiting and to what extent?
Mr Jenkins-I simply have to ask you: are you happy with the idea that something like 20 per cent -- using even official statistics -- of the youth of Australia has never worked and that many of them will probably never have employment and will be living on social welfare?
CHAIR-But is there a specific WTO agreement that relates to that?
Mr Jenkins-No, it is because of the emphasis on globalised free trade doctrine -- which was once very good. There was a golden age of free trade doctrine during the GATT period when economic growth was increasing, economic conditions were rosy, the Australian dollar was worth a dollar, there was full employment and so on. But in the last 10 years we have moved into what has been called the 'leaden age' of globalisation by many economists, or what Chris Patten referred to yesterday as 'the dark side of globalisation'. In the last decade we have seen -- and many of us have only seen it in the last two or three years -- a terrible downside, which is measurable in terms of unemployment and the devaluation of our Australian assets. When the Australian dollar is worth US50c or 33p sterling-
Senator LUDWIG-How is that a consequence of free trade? I am really having trouble with your economics. How do you explain that both unemployment-
Mr Jenkins-I am not an economist.
Senator LUDWIG-That is my problem-I do not understand how you come to those conclusions. You are making very broad assertions.
Mr Jenkins-It is caused by investment factors. The meltdown of the Asian so-called tiger economies a few years ago was caused, I understand -- and I have this from a very good economists -- by the sloshing about of speculative investment across state boundaries without any kind of restriction until people like Mahathir decided to impose a few capital controls. This caused excessive confidence and it caused-
Senator LUDWIG-Even if that is the case, that is not free trade.
Mr Jenkins-The very term 'trade' is a misnomer in many ways. Western Australia is still in that golden age. We are still producing iron ore, nickel, natural gas -- valuable commodities -- and we are trading those. In other words, we are producing a value-
Senator LUDWIG-You are not suggesting that speculative investment is trade?
Mr Jenkins-Ninety per cent of trade covered by the World Trade Organisation is intra-company transactions, is speculative in nature and is not balanced. Something like 90-odd per cent of the world's gross global turnover has nothing to do with the production of value, with iron, coal or oil. It is currency; it is speculation. Most of the profit that is made is made out of speculation.
Senator LUDWIG-I am happy for you to go away and look at it, but if you are going to assert that a downturn in our exchange rate, a downturn in the economy, a last quarter drop or negative growth is as a consequence of free trade I would really like to look at your argument, if you do have one, rather than an assertion. I certainly understand the time constraints that we all have. I would appreciate it if you could turn your mind to putting that on paper rather than picking a WTO shrink or sink and giving it to us. If not, I accept that. The other matter I want to raise is in relation to those other organisations that you have attached to your letter. Are they aware that you have put this submission in?
Mr Jenkins-Yes .
CHAIR-I think basically what we are looking at is: how do we strike a balance sheet on the WTO? What you say may or may not be right, but we have not got anything concrete to rely on, and we have to make up our minds about the overall benefits or the deficits from the WTO. It is a difficult task in front of us. We appreciate people coming in front of us and presenting their point of view. We are about to open up the committee to people who want to make statements to us. To be of value, it really needs to be more than a broad assertion that sits up there in the air somewhere that may or may not be correct, but there is no way of gauging it unless you can put it in the balance sheet somewhere. I do not think anyone on this committee is saying that everything to do with free trade, Australia's engagement with free trade and the WTO is rosy and perfect. It is not, but there are palpable benefits and we need to balance the problems with the benefits.
Mr Jenkins-I understand that. One of the difficulties that we are confronting all the time is that we are aware that a lot of the problems simply do not fall into the parliamentary arena, and there is very little that parliament or even executive government can do about it from an Australian point of view. For something like six years Treasury were sending people to Paris every six weeks to negotiate the Multilateral Agreement on Investment. We did not hear about it until about 18 months before the thing collapsed. Most businessmen, on seeing the text of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, would say, 'This is preposterous. It shouldn't happen. We shouldn't sign an agreement which will take away the government's right to regulate on various things.' Not only did we not hear that but also it did not become apparent to the people who were negotiating for us, and it should have become apparent. The government eventually did, as a result of the work that this committee did, come out with that conclusion.
So there are elements about this that cannot be handled by parliamentarians. In the context of parliament at the moment, we have decided to focus on only two elements of this whole business which have some relevance to parliament: one of them is the GATS, which will be very close to the heart of government authorities both national and subnational; and the other one is the national competition policy, because this is something that is discussed in the parliament. A lot of the negotiations, the signing of treaties and so on do not come into the parliament, and there is nothing, with respect, that this committee or the parliament can do about it.
CHAIR-This committee now looks at every treaty that is proposed.
Mr Jenkins-That is important. But the situation is that treaties still do not have to be ratified by parliament -- they can be commented on, but not ratified -- and the executive government can still simply sign a treaty. Would you like me to make some brief comments on the terms of reference?
CHAIR-We have pretty much run out of time. If you would like to put something to us in writing about that, by all means you are very welcome to do so.
Mr Jenkins-I would be glad to do that, yes.
Mr WILKIE-Mr Jenkins, you have stated that the aim of the StopMAI (WA) is to gather information, but there is nothing in your submission that suggests what information you would like to see made available to your organisation. I would just like you to consider that and possibly put in something in the future that outlines what you think needs to be made available. Also, you have stated that you believe in a rules based submission, but the submission talks about rolling it back and says 'We don't want it.'
Mr Jenkins-I am more disposed to a rules-based system than other organisations are. As I have said, there is no doctrinaire approach here.
CHAIR-Thank you very much for coming and giving us your time, Mr Jenkins. You are welcome to put in any further note that you wish to.

* * *
[MASSAM, John C., Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network]
CHAIR-Thank you for your point of view, Mr Schindler. Now, Mr Massam, representing the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.
Mr Massam-Thank you, Madam Chair. I am speaking more as an individual because we have not submitted this statement to all the members around Australia. This might seem irrelevant for a moment but the danger of engines falling off planes and the necessity in Australia for doctors to have a degree and for teachers to have passed exams might seem to have nothing to do with trade, but of course they are part of the world exchanges that go on. We know now over these last few days that a government body, CASA, and a big company called Ansett, both charged with the job of keeping planes safe in the sky, evidently could not do that. There were cracks on the engine mountings. That means that your engine can fall off if you strike certain air turbulence.
These things seem to be so obvious and we are satisfied in a country that is organised like Australia -- as many other such countries are satisfied with their organisation -- and we forget that there are people out there wanting all this swept away. There is actually a web site asking for anyone in the world to send in information about restraints on trade. Teachers having to have qualifications is a restraint on trade. Say you are running a big tutoring college which is wanting to go worldwide -- why should your teachers have qualifications?
These might seem fanciful to us; but a lot of the things that are happening in the world now do seem fanciful. Take the impudence of President Bush talking about spreading the benefits of free trade and the North American free trade area by spreading it to the whole of the continent.
Only in the last few days Canadian religious leaders have gone down to Mexico to see the benefits of what Mexico has got -- and remember it includes Mexico, not just Canada and the US, in spite of what Anglo-Celts might think. It has been a horror for the Mexicans because there are modern factories being built just over the border and elsewhere in the country, too, and people are coming out of shanties they have made themselves out of bits of cardboard and scraps of tin and rubbish. They have to shower before they can go into the modern beaut factory and they work away at very low rates of pay while their Yank or Canadian cousins would have been entitled to a decent salary, a kind of a salary that most of us expect to get.
We go through life and somewhere in mid-life we can afford to travel the world and we can afford to do things. Some of us buy houses and then we build on house after house. But this is the horror of Mexico. The Canadian churchmen have been astonished. The World Trade Organisation -- as other speakers have said -- has forgotten that trade and industry and the economy are not everything. We are more than just money-making machines. We have to remember that all these other parts of our lives -- our private home life and our ability to go to law if someone is doing bad things, a proper system of safety in public transport -- actually end up helping the economy.
So the economy is not everything. But there are all of these things like proper union wages. The bus drivers in Perth -- not all; there are still some running around -- are on strike. Their wages were cut by $100 when competition came in. Competition is part of world trade. They want to compete everywhere in the world. When you think of a big company in Britain, America, France or anywhere you like wanting to compete in Australia, what they are really wanting is to take someone else's market share. It is not just a normal growth of the world; they want to take some other company's or some other private individual's market off them.
Why would New Zealand be wanting to send apples to Australia? Australia has a surplus of apples, and has had it for years. Australia has always been exporting. Why would North America be trying to send salmon to Australia? Aren't there hungry people in North America and South America? Aren't there people who could eat apples in New Zealand?
CHAIR-Thank you, Mr Massam. You have pretty much reached the time limit. Is there anything else you would like to give us in a note of any sort?
Mr Massam-I could try to write something.
CHAIR-I will try to give everyone a little opportunity at the end if I can just keep to the time frame.

[CHOMLEY, Mrs Helena, Council for the National Interest]
Mrs Chomley-We are addressing the terms of reference relating to the WTO disputes panel and Australia's relationship with it. The principle that the CNI espouses is fair trade, not free trade, for Australia. But 'fair ' means judgments, and judgments mean the disputes panel. The problem, as I saw from one of the other submissions -- and somebody made the point earlier when I was here this morning that the World Trade Organisation has got very sharp teeth; I think we have had 10 cases so far -- is that on the one hand the powerful economies can press Australia not to use the disputes panel on threat of substantially hurting Australian trade, and on the other hand when we are threatened with world trade action by a large economy we do not have the economic clout to deter a large economy from using the WTO dispute settlement system against us. So our recommendation is that Australia should be very cautious in its approach to this panel. That is our second recommendation.
But our third recommendation is the one that I would like to speak to most this morning. Apart from representing the CNI I am an academic, so I have an interest in this recommendation that we are making. It is that we as a country do not have people skilled enough to represent our national interests adequately on panels such as this one and we should be doing something about it. What we should be doing about it is not relying on, as somebody also said, theoretical economists or even the legal interests, who obviously see opportunities for profit here. Universities in other nations have departments specialising in commercial diplomacy- something sadly lacking in Australia. WTO treaties need to be rigorously scrutinised by specialists in commercial diplomacy as well as by the public and politicians.
The clearest example of where such scrutiny was lacking was the MAI. If signed, the MAI would have meant that Australia could offer no protection -- tariffs or subsidies -- or have granted any preferential contracts to or given any special legal protection to an Australian company over foreign based multinationals. And Mr Costello would not have problems at the moment. It took a year of public outcry to achieve a government inquiry that led to the shelving of the MAI. It illustrates how Australia needs experts skilled in commercial diplomacy who are more circumspect about multilateral agreements which extend the reach of foreign economic interests into Australia. So our recommendation is this: Australia urgently needs to have trained negotiators skilled in commercial diplomacy involved with the WTO and should not be reliant on theoretical economists in WTO trade negotiations and disputes.
CHAIR-Thank you. There was another person who, I am sorry, I missed, and that was Mr Mueller.

[MUELLER, Mr Otto, (Private Capacity)]
Mr Mueller-I thank you for the opportunity to make this submission. Notwithstanding what may have been claimed this morning by very vested interest groups, the following comments should be noted. Over the last five years and more following the founding of the World Trade Organisation, both Australian major parties have promoted a so-called level playing field. We were brainwashed into believing that it is bad to support Australian industry. Therefore, tariffs, called featherbedding by the proponents, were and still are progressively reduced. This resulted, and still results, in widespread social upheaval, increased welfare budgets, reduced employment levels and revenue raisings -- a shortage of taxes for some reason -- and vastly increasing private and public debt levels. It is a lie to claim that it is a win-win situation.
In addition, we have been kept in the dark by the government and the media alike about whether there has been a concomitant reduction in protective measures by our trading partners. There is probably no level playing field among the more than 100 World Trade Organisation members. There is not even a proper definition of what free trade means. Is it trade in human beings -- people-smuggling? Or is it ships, supposedly full of children, in the Gulf of Guinea? Is it free trade to deny South Africa cheap pharmacological goods to combat rampant AIDS? Is that free trade? Is it free trade to export and import Angolan diamonds to promote wars in west Africa? Is it merely to export miscellaneous ores and their wastes back into the countries they came from or vice versa? Someone claimed earlier that 90 per cent of the so-called free trade -- and I would estimate that 50 per cent of so-called free trade -- is actually intercompany trade. Is it semifinished products from the least cost countries to be completed in other countries for tax minimisation schemes by the companies concerned? Is it free trade to export or import genetically modified foodstuffs without designating them as such? Is it carpets produced by child labour? Finally, is it free trade to swamp your competitors with cheap bulk commodities which put the local guy out of business, as happens in this country?
My list could continue and we are left to wonder whether the many thousands of WTO regulations have produced any winners yet among those who most need it. At the same time, however, our government cherishes deregulation. Why then does the executive, including the Prime Minister, defend CASA -- note Ansett hot air over the past week -- and the ACCC and Professor Fels and his people who have failed completely to promote competition and, rather, support mergers of one kind or another in this nation?
Free trade also requires a free money flow. Again, governments of both persuasions have been instrumental in ensuring that that happens. As a result of that change, the Australian dollar has become a currency for speculators and it consistently loses value. Every day, an estimated $70 billion are shifted around the globe by the so-called unaccountable money market. None of that Australian money produces any goods or services, while the electorate -- that is you and me -- have been told for years that there are ever more budgetary constraints; no wonder, when it is all siphoned out of the country by those who run the businesses. Thank you very much for your time.
CHAIR-Thank you, Mr Mueller, and I apologise for having had to leave for a moment. I listened to you through the fog of my 'flu. Thank you all very much. I am sorry that the committee has to wind up, but in all the capital cities we have been trying to turn the forum into a public forum for a while because we value very much each of you coming here and giving us the benefit of your views. Thank you; we do appreciate that.
Resolved (on motion by Mr Wilkie):
That this committee authorises publication of the proof transcript of the evidence given before it at public hearing this day.
Subcommittee adjourned at 12.00 p.m.

Terms of reference for the inquiry:
To inquire into and report on:
  • opportunities for community involvement in developing Australia's negotiating positions on matters with the WTO;
  • the transparency and accountability of WTO operations and decision making;
  • the effectiveness of the WTO's dispute setlement procedures and the ease of access to these procedures;
  • Australia's capacity to undertake WTO advocacy;
  • the involvement of peak bodies, industry groups and external lawyers in conducting WTO disputes;
  • the relationship between the WTO and regional economic arrangements;
  • the relationship between WTO agreements and other multilateral agreements, including those on trade and related matters, and on environmental, human rights and labour standards; and
  • the extent to which social, cultural and environmental considerations influence WTO priorities and decision making.

BRADLEY, Mr Malcolm (Private Capacity) ..... ..... ..... 631
CHOMLEY, Mrs Helena Elizabeth, Council for the National Interest ..... ..... ..... 631
DELANE, Mr Robert John, Executive Director, Agriculture Protection, Agriculture Western Australia [a State government department, still!] ..... ..... ..... 589
FARNHILL, Mr John Paul, Team Leader, Statistical Analysis Team, Industry Services Division, Western Australian Department of Commerce and Trade ..... ..... ..... 589
HUTCHISON, Mr David Eric (Private Capacity) ..... ..... ..... 631
JENKINS, Mr Brian Joseph, Honorary Secretary, StopMAI (WA) Campaign Coalition ..... ..... ..... 624
JUDGE, Mrs Petrice, Director, Federal Affairs, Western Australian Ministry of the Premier and Cabinet ..... ..... ..... 589
KURAL, Ms Hazel, Assistant Director, Economic and Revenue Policy, Western Australian Treasury ..... ..... ..... 589
MacFARLANE, Ms Kerry Margaret, Chairperson, Catholic Social Justice Council ..... ..... ..... 618
MASSAM, Mr John Charles, Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network ..... ..... ..... 631
MUELLER, Mr Otto (Private Capacity) ..... ..... ..... 631
MURALI, Mr Bala, Principal Policy Office, Federal Affairs, Western Australian Ministry of the Premier and Cabinet ..... ..... ..... 589
MURPHY, Mr John, Policy Manager, Western Australian Department of Resources Development ..... ..... ..... 589
O'CONNOR, Mr Paul Richard (Private Capacity) ..... ..... ..... 608
QUINN, Mr Terrence Anthony, Project Office, Catholic Social Justice Council ..... ..... ..... 618
SCHINDLER, Mr John (Private Capacity) ..... ..... ..... 631
WALLER, Mrs Norah (Private Capacity) ..... ..... ..... 631


This is an uncorrected proof of evidence taken before the committee. It is made available under the condition that it is recognised as such.


Adapted from http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/joint/commttee/comjoint.htm

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