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Joint Standing Committee on Treaties
17/10/2016
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

KYLOH, Mr Damian, Economic and Social Policy Adviser, Australian Council of Trade Unions

TKALCEVIC, Ms Belinda, Director Social and Economic Policy, Australian Council of Trade Unions

[10:52]

CHAIR: I now welcome representatives of the Australian Council of Trade Unions to give evidence today. Although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, I should advise you that the hearing is a legal proceeding of the parliament and therefore has the same standing as proceedings of the respective houses. The giving of false or misleading evidence is a serious matter and may be regarded as a contempt of parliament. The evidence given today will be recorded by Hansard and attracts parliamentary privilege. I now invite you to make a brief opening statement before we proceed to wider discussion.

Ms Tkalcevic : Thank you for the opportunity to give the ACTU a chance to speak to the TPP today. I am just going to make a few very brief opening remarks before asking my colleague, economist Damian Kyloh, to comment on some of the specific issues. The ACTU is the peak body for Australian unions, and we represent more than 1.6 million members. We have the single largest voice for working Australians and their families. We have had a long and significant interest in the trade agenda on behalf of our members and workers generally.

Firstly, I would like to make it clear that the ACTU is a supporter of trade as a vehicle of economic growth, job creation and rising living standards. Having a strong export sector is imperative for our prosperity and is in the interests of our members. We promote fair trade and recognise the benefit of greater access to overseas markets for Australian businesses and workers. We welcome the opportunities for workers that come from participating in the global economy, but we are only in favour of trade agreements if there is overall benefit for all Australians.

As you aware, the TPP is some 30 chapters and 6,000 pages long, so we do not propose to deal with all of the issues that come under scrutiny there. But we would like to touch on five key issues that are most important to us: (1) the flawed process; (2) the economic evidence against Australia ratifying the TPP; (3) the problems with the investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, clause; (4) the negative effect of the provisions for the temporary movement of people on local job opportunities; and (5) the extension of monopolies on medicines and labour rights.

I will briefly touch on those before turning to Damian. Firstly, on the process, we should expect that trade agreements are subject to proper scrutiny and that unions and others in civil society, as well as business, have the opportunity on behalf of those they represent for genuine input into the negotiations. To date, trade agreements have been conducted behind closed doors, and Australia lags behind other countries and institutions when it comes to public scrutiny. This whole process in Australia contrasts with the experience in the EU, for example. The EU has recognised legitimate community demand for the negotiating papers and final text to be exposed to public debate.

Secondly, the economic evidence from the World Bank and other institutions demonstrates that the economic benefits of the TPP are negligible, and some studies show that the TPP will in fact cost thousands of Australian jobs. A World Bank study estimates only 0.7 per cent growth to 2030 from the TPP, and a Tufts University paper estimates a loss of 39,000 Australian jobs and a widening of inequality, a worsening of income distribution, and job losses. Recent research by the OECD suggests that a one-Gini-point increase in inequality can reduce GDP by three per cent. So policies to help reduce inequality would make more-sensible economic policy and have greater benefits to our country than would the TPP.

Thirdly, we believe the TPP threatens our democracy and the right of our parliament to make laws in the public interest, because it contains a so-called ISDS clause. The ISDS means that if a foreign corporation does not like a law our government has made, because it might threaten its profits, the corporation can sue the government in secret tribunals, bypassing our courts, with no right of appeal. The ISDS has been used to challenge Australia's tobacco plain-packaging laws and elsewhere to stop bans on harmful chemicals, to stop a rise in the minimum wage, to stop renewable energy and to stop a government from cancelling its plans to privatise a transport system. Indeed, it is for these reasons that the Howard government did not include the ISDS in the US free trade agreement in 2004. Many experts, including Australia's High Court Chief Justice French and the Productivity Commission, have noted that the ISDS is not independent or impartial and that it lacks the basic standards of national legal systems. The ISDS clause in the TPP provides a safeguard in relation to tobacco only, which for us indicates that there would be significant concerns for all areas other than tobacco. You have to ask why you would include a provision simply for tobacco if there was no problem. The ISDS clauses are a restriction on national sovereignty and the ability of governments to regulate in the public interest. The ACTU has a consistent position that ISDS clauses should not be included in any trade agreement that Australia enters into, including the TPP.

Fourthly, free trade agreements that deal with the movement of temporary overseas workers into Australia are critical issues for Australian unions and our members. Quite simply, this is because the fundamental issues at stake are about support for Australian jobs, support for Australian training opportunities and support for fair treatment and decent wages and conditions for all workers. These are core issues for unions. The Australian government has yet again entered into a free trade agreement where it appears to have removed the obligation on employers to conduct labour market testing before temporary overseas workers can fill Australian jobs. Australia has agreed to the worst deal of any TPP country in terms of what it has given up in relation to migration safeguards. The government has not offered any explanation of why labour market testing has been removed and why we are not protecting our domestic labour force. We are particularly concerned with the provisions on contractual service providers, because they include all 651 occupations under the 457 visa system.

Fifthly and finally, the TPP will provide stronger monopoly rights for costly biologic medicines used to treat cancer and other serious diseases. Australia's law on biologic monopolies will not change immediately, but the TPP text requires other measures which would deliver a comparable market outcome and requires a future review, which could result in up to three extra years of monopoly. Each year of delay in the availability of cheaper biologic medicines would cost the Australian government hundreds of millions of dollars and end up costing the public more at the chemist.

In summary, the TPP puts globalisation before Australian workers, threatens the fundamentals of our democracy and drives up health costs. By destroying thousands of Australian jobs and driving down wages, we believe the TPP will lead to higher levels of inequality. The TPP is a toxic combination of more power to multinationals ahead of democracy, and globalisation ahead of Australian workers.

I will turn now to Damian to provide some more detailed comments.

Mr Kyloh : The Australian government has yet again entered into a free trade agreement where it has removed the obligation on employers to conduct labour market testing before temporary overseas workers fill Australian jobs. Australian and overseas companies will be able to employ unlimited numbers of workers from TPP member countries in hundreds of occupations across nursing, engineering and the trades without any obligation to provide evidence of genuine efforts to first recruit Australian workers. In doing so, Australia has agreed to the worst deal of any TPP country in terms of what it has given up in relation to migration safeguards. Unions cannot support an agreement that removes this basic protection in support of Australian jobs.

While the TPP does not have a catch-all ChAFTA style provision that expressly prohibits countries from imposing labour-market testing, one of the main causes for concern is that Australia's commitments to other TPP countries on temporary entry do not specify labour market testing as a condition or limitation on temporary entry in Australia. By contrast, other countries, such as New Zealand and Brunei, have specified that an economics needs test could or will be applied to the entry of overseas workers and to their respective countries. Similarly, Peru reserves its right to impose labour market testing if another country is doing so. Australia has no such provisions in its TPP commitments.

We accept there is a role for some temporary migration to meet critical short-term skills needs, provided there is a proper, rigorous process for managing this. But the priority must always be on maximising jobs and training opportunities for Australians—that is, citizens and permanent residents—regardless of their background or country of origin. Whether it is young Australians looking for their first job or older Australians looking to get back into the workforce or change careers, they deserve an assurance that they will have first access to Australian jobs. This is more important than ever at a time when unemployment remains stubbornly around six per cent and youth unemployment is in double digits.

I will just touch on the contractual service providers clause. Article 12.4 in chapter 12 provides for each party to set out commitments it makes with regard to temporary entry of businesspersons, and to specify the conditions and limitations for entry and temporary stay for each category of businesspersons it specifies. However, despite the title of the chapter having the seemingly benign appearance of dealing with movements of businesspersons, the commitments made under the TPP cover the temporary entry of skilled workers in traditional employment relationships. In the case of Australia, its commitments to grant temporary entry extend beyond business visitors and include the category of contractual service suppliers. This category is defined expansively to include all businesspersons with trade, technical and professional skills. Essentially, this commitment covers temporary entry for all skilled occupations under the 457 visa program. That includes all 651 occupations. Australia has offered temporary entry commitments to the TPP countries that offer similar levels of access in equivalent categories. However, it appears that Australia has been much more accommodating than other countries in terms of those its commitments extend to. So it opens up temporary entry to the Australian labour market for workers from countries who do not provide equivalent access to Australian workers. In effect, the TPP commits Australia to accepting unlimited numbers of temporary workers from Canada, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam as contractual service providers in a wide range of professional, technical and skilled trade occupations without labour market testing to establish whether there are local workers available.

I will touch briefly on the labour provisions. The ACTU supports the inclusion of labour chapters in free trade agreements which put workers' rights and labour standards at the core of trade rules. We reject trade agreements based on low wages, dangerous working conditions and the repression of collective organisation of working people. When trade agreements do not include strong and enforceable labour chapters, this opens the door to companies and countries gaining competitive advantage from labour exploitation. As a matter of principle, we call for the inclusion of enforceable labour rights chapters in all bilateral and regional trade agreements that Australia enters into.

The fact that the TPP has a labour chapter can therefore be seen as a step forward. However, while the TPP labour chapter includes references to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and urges respect for core labour standards, it fails to include effective enforcement provisions, remedies and capacity building for signatory states and unions in TPP countries. The labour rights are weaker than promised and difficult to enforce, including on child labour and forced labour.

Just quickly, I would like to turn to the economic evidence. There has not been any specific, independent Australian based economic study, but we do have studies from the World Bank and other institutions which look at the macro-economic effects across countries. From the World Bank study it is clear that the benefits are very modest. The World Bank predicts an 0.7 per cent increase of GDP to 2030; if we look per annum it is roughly about 0.07 per cent a year—extremely modest. That is exactly why Peter Martin, the economics editor of The Age, wrote an article entitled 'The TPP barely benefits Australia'. If we look at the evidence on workers and we turn to the Tufts University paper, it predicts that there will be 39,000 job losses to 2025. This is using the United Nations Global Policy Model. It also suggests the income distribution in Australia will get worse and it actually puts figures on this: it says that labour's share of income as a percentage of GDP will fall by 0.72 per cent.

So from the empirical evidence that we do have we have a falling share of income for labour, 39,000 job losses, an increase in inequality and a very minor blip increase in GDP per annum. That is the empirical evidence that we have. Prominent economists have basically cast doubt on the TPP. In fact, Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate in economics and professor at Columbia university, has said in relation to the TPP:

The reality is that this is an agreement to manage its members' trade and investment relations—and to do so on behalf of each country's most powerful business lobbies. Make no mistake: It is … not about “free” trade.

Thank you very much. It is a privilege to be here today.

Mr WALLACE: I have so many questions. You talked about the 457 visa entrants in that there was no labour market testing—or that it has been removed. There is no suggestion that Australian companies or employers can pay 457 visa workers less than the local labour costs that they are entitled to, is there?

Mr Kyloh : I will just answer that and expand on that. That is true; however, we do know that there are a very large number of 457 visa holders who are exploited in the labour market and do receive lower wages than domestic workers. This was particularly highlighted by the Senate inquiry report that came out earlier this year that was called A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders. Any inquiry or report that says 'a national disgrace' highlights the issues we face. In fact at the moment we have an underclass, pretty much, of—

Mr WALLACE: Perhaps you will allow me to rephrase my question. There is no lawful entitlement for local companies to employ 457 visa holders on terms less than local employees would be on, is there?

Mr Kyloh : Thank you. Not lawfully, no.

Mr WALLACE: The problems you are referring to about some unscrupulous employers taking advantage of 457 visa holders is more a policing issue, isn't it? If they were policed properly, if they were required to uphold the law to employ someone in accordance with the law, there would not be a problem, would there?

Mr Kyloh : We do call for more monitoring, basically, of workplaces where 457 visas are very prevalent. The fact is though that we have seen time and time again that 457 visa holders have actually been paid lower wages and have been exploited. That is why we have a Senate inquiry report that says it is very normalised and it is—

Mr WALLACE: It is unlawful.

Mr Kyloh : Yes, and it is a national disgrace. On the labour market testing, which we raised, it is not just about the lowering of wages; it is actually about the substitution effect between domestic workers and workers coming from overseas. If you do not have labour market testing you cannot identify where the skills shortage exists. If you have workers come to areas where there is not a skills shortage then you have substitution. That is a clear concern.

Mr WALLACE: You heard from the previous witness, Mr Pearson from the Mineral Council of Australia, who said that in his industry they prefer to employ locally because it costs them less than it does to employ someone on a 457 visa. Did you hear that?

Mr Kyloh : Thank you so much for your question. We did hear that; however, there is an enormous amount of evidence that suggests that 457 visas are exploited in the labour market with these workers, so that would be an extremely unusual situation.

Mr WALLACE: If a company was following the law, if they were able to employ a local person and there were local people to employ, do you accept that it would be better for many companies to employ that local employee rather than going offshore and having all of the dramas that they have in engaging people from overseas and employing them to do work locally? Do you accept that there is an attraction for local businesses to employ locally unless there is a skill shortage locally?

Mr Kyloh : No, I think sometimes there is an incentive to employ overseas workers because you can then employ them on lower wages.

Mr WALLACE: But you cannot legally employ them on lower wages.

Mr Kyloh : But we know what happens, and it is very prevalent. The other thing is: what we would like to be clear on is that we should have labour market testing, basically, in our trade agreements. If we have labour market testing, that protects the domestic labour force, and that is what we are asking for. If we want to protect the domestic labour force, surely we would have no problem with having labour market testing within our trade agreements.

Ms MARINO: Thank you for your evidence. Could you tell me which of the free trade agreements the ACTU has supported, and supported strongly, please?

Mr Kyloh : We are extremely in favour of trade and the export sector. Many of our members work in the export sector. The prosperity of the country is dependent on—

Ms MARINO: But which of the free trade agreements—as in ChAFTA? Was your union a strong supporter of ChAFTA and other free trade agreements?

Mr Kyloh : We do not have problems with trade agreements at all. As a principle, what we have a problem with is particular clauses in trade agreements that get rid of labour marking testing and so forth.

Ms MARINO: But did you support the China free trade agreement—as in your union, the ACTU?

Mr Kyloh : No, we did not, because of the labour market testing element.

Ms MARINO: Okay. From the evidence that you have given today, my understanding is that you do not support this free trade agreement either? Is that accurate?

Mr Kyloh : Yes.

Ms Tkalcevic : Yes, that is accurate. And based on the empirical evidence that we have available, it indicates it is not a good deal for us.

Ms MARINO: Given that the government has to look across the economy more widely, and I note that in your evidence you also said that it had to benefit all Australians, one of the issues is increased access. I am a farmer, and increased access is what this industry has been literally begging for for many years. So even an incremental increase makes a huge difference to some of the best farmers in the world, that are actually here in Australia. Sorry, Chair, I have to go. I will be back later.

Mr Kyloh : We understand that there will be some benefits to some industries and indeed we support that. What I think we do have to do, though, is to look at the empirical macro-economic evidence that is available, and the empirical economic evidence that is available suggests that economic growth would be very weak. Some studies suggest that there will be 39,000 job losses and an increase in inequality.

That is what we would expect in a trade agreement; there are winners and there are losers. What we are saying is that you have to do a cost-benefit analysis and you have to understand all the effects across the macro-economy. Now, 39,000 job losses is a cost, and that must be looked at. The increase in inequality, which the Tufts University paper suggests, must be looked at, and we must have a proper assessment of Australia, because at the moment there isn't really an economic study that looks just at Australia and the costs and benefits.

We recognise that there will be some benefits for some industries through increased market access and we welcome that—we really do—but we have to base our decisions on the empirical evidence, and we know that there are particular costs. If we have 39,000 job losses, that is significant.

Mr JOSH WILSON: I will go to the point and perhaps allow you to expand a bit further, because I think the issue that has been raised with us is that the winners and losers are not related in the way that this agreement potentially works.

You could understand in some cases that if you are getting more market access that had a deleterious effect, you would accept that. I think what others have raised with us, and what I think you are suggesting today, is that the gain in market access for dairy producers like Ms Marino and others is not in any way related to or facilitated by the lopsided concession on temporary labour market access. You have talked about the labour market access for contractual service providers, which is something that Australia is offering up and other countries are not. The one issue you have not talked about, which we have heard about from other groups that have appeared before the committee, is the change when it comes to skills assessment. Are you able to say something about the risks that that poses?

Ms Tkalcevic : On your first point, I think one of the points that we wanted to make—which, unfortunately, Ms Marino was not here to hear—was that part of that winners and losers and balancing argument is also about the domestic economy and the effect that 39,000 job losses and depressed consumer spending due to pressure on wages will also have on the industries that she talked about. So, yes, there might be an opening up of export opportunities. But if at the same time that is negated by depressing your domestic trade opportunities and business opportunities, that has to be factored in as well. I think it is not as simple as just the winners and losers and one industry versus another—it is all interconnected. The IMF and the Reserve Bank have both been saying that in times of global stagnation at the moment your domestic economy is critical, particularly for a nation like Australia. So we do have to factor in that sort of thinking as well. I will get Damian to talk about the skills assessment.

Mr Kyloh : For us, exactly where there are skills shortages and where there are not is one of the key questions here. If there is a genuine skills shortage and a proper, rigorous process of temporary migration, we would support that. But the problem is that if there is not labour market testing you cannot identify where there is an actual skills shortage. That is where the overseas workers should be—those are the occupations which temporary overseas workers should be going into: areas where there is a genuine skills shortage. But without labour market testing, how do we know that? As we were saying, this agreement opens up a very large number of occupations—651 occupations. It opens up Canada, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam to all of those occupations. So this is not a minor change; this is quite a dramatic change in our migration rules. It is very clear that this is the case. DFAT has made it very clear that the contractual service applies to all 457 visa holders. It is quite significant.

Mr JOSH WILSON: This is the opportunity for people like yourselves and members of the committee to look at the details and impacts of these kinds of agreements in a fair and frank way. I think the lopsided nature of the temporary labour market access concessions that Australia is making is very hard to understand, and that has not been changed by people who have appeared before us. What kinds of motivations do you think might exist for a government to want to give those kinds of concessions up?

Mr Kyloh : For high-skilled businesspeople there may be advantages from opening up. But this agreement opens up in all different types of sectors.

Mr JOSH WILSON: Whose interest is that in? What is that going to enable, and why would a government want to go down that path when there do not seem to be any benefits for Australia or Australian jobs?

Mr Kyloh : That is the question we would be asking. Unfortunately we are talking about nurses, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, tilers, mechanics, chefs. These are not high-skilled businesspeople; these are occupations where we do not believe there are skills shortages. We would ask that question: what is the advantage?

CHAIR: Mr Wilson makes a very good point. I have the World Bank report in front of me. It tells me that all 12 countries will have job losses and that there will be 771,000 job losses across all 12 TPP countries. This report says Canada, if it signs, will have a GDP reduction of 0.58 per cent. So this report that you are quoting says that every single country will go backwards. Canada will have a catastrophic reduction to their GDP—because any going backwards is bad—as well as having 58,000 job losses. And yet all countries want to do it. So either all the countries are wrong or the report is crap. Which one is it?

Mr Kyloh : Can I just be very clear on who is the author of the Tufts University paper.

CHAIR: I am talking about the World Bank and the modelling that you quoted which shows a 39,000 job—

Mr Kyloh : That is the Tufts University paper. One of the authors of the Tufts University paper is the former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. He was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. It is an extremely prestigious award. In fact, some would say it is just below the Nobel prize. This is somebody with huge economic credibility. He has published many, many reports. This is why we need to base our decisions on empirical evidence and why we need to do a proper cost-benefit analysis that is specific to Australia. We do have evidence, not from a corrupt report. This is somebody who is extremely prestigious in the economics realm.

CHAIR: That report is saying that every single country in this agreement will have employment losses of 771,000 and Canada will have a minus 0.58 per cent GDP reduction. So apparently every country is going to lose out on jobs, and Canada is going to lose out on jobs and economic growth. Yet every country still wants to do it. There is a cognitive disconnect here.

Ms Tkalcevic : I do not think it is for us to comment on whether Canada should or should not sign the TPP. We are looking at this from the perspective of Australia, Australian workers, Australian communities and Australian families. It is not often that we agree with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, but we do on this point. Before we ratify this proposed agreement, we really should be looking at some proper independent analysis of what the overall benefits for this country are. It just seems like a logical thing to do. Fundamentally what we are saying is that we should not be entering into these agreements unless are eyes are wide open and we have all of the information and analysis that should be available to us before we make that sort of decision—and so should Canada and the rest of the countries.

Mr Kyloh : Chair, I am afraid that I am not sure that that statement is quite correct. The Tufts University paper actually suggests that some countries will experience economic growth. For example, it suggests that Vietnam will experience economic growth and so forth. What I would suggest is that, when you look at that study, there are job losses and there is increased inequality, and that mainly happens in the developed countries—the US and Australia. The developing countries or middle-income countries would do a bit better.

The point is that you need to do a proper cost-benefit analysis and you have to look at all the empirical evidence. The fact that we have a study that comes from somebody who has won the Leontief Prize for economics, suggesting that there will be job losses and an increase in equality, surely must suggest that we need to look into this very, very closely. I would ask why we are deciding this without doing a proper cost-benefit analysis and an economic assessment of Australia. I would suggest this should happen.

Ms TEMPLEMAN: You have already touched on one of the things that I wanted to clarify in terms of being like-minded with the previous witness on that particular issue. It has not been a transparent process—so we may not know this—but is there any evidence to show what we traded off in return for including ISDS provisions and for dropping labour market testing? Do you have any insight into this? We know it was a negotiation. What did we negotiate as the quid pro quo for that? Do you have any idea?

Ms Tkalcevic : Damian is the expert in this area, but I imagine they probably go to Ms Marino's comments about benefits to some of our agriculture sectors—the opening up of access to some markets there. As far as I am aware, that is about the main thing.

Mr Kyloh : There is increased market access to particular sectors, I believe. But some industries have even suggested that that is not that beneficial—the sugar industry, for example.

But for us there were the serious costs of opening up our labour markets to 651 occupations without doing proper labour market testing. And there were serious costs in terms of ISDS.

Ms TEMPLEMAN: My understanding is that ISDS was not a big feature of the early discussions but it got included as discussions went on. But, presumably, if it were a more transparent process we would have been able to see what those trade-offs were more clearly and that would be worthwhile in terms of analysing what the pluses and minuses are?

Ms Tkalcevic : That is right. It is my understanding that that is a process that the EU now follows when it is involved in negotiating these sorts of trade agreements, to give civil society, the community and stakeholders a better idea of what is going on in the deliberations.

Mr Kyloh : They actually release, basically, draft—

Ms TEMPLEMAN: How many drafts have they released through the process, typically?

Mr Kyloh : I am not sure. I think it depends on the agreement and the state of the negotiations. But the fact that they are doing this is positive, and it shows that we can have a more transparent process. And we desperately do need that. At the moment it is behind closed doors and we do not get a chance to comment. And it is too late: we cannot amend the text now. It is a take-it-or-leave-it deal—that is it. It is over; we have signed the negotiations.

It would be much better if it were a transparent process and we could comment along the way. Just coming in at the end and having a take-it-or-leave-it position—that being when you get people to comment—does not seem to be the best way to go about it.

Mr CREWTHER: Thank you very much for your evidence here today. To quote page 3 of your 26 February 2016 submission:

The Government was mistakenly claiming that the China FTA will create hundreds of thousands of jobs when its own modelling showed a net increase of just 5000 jobs over 20 years.

You get that quote from a reference from John Menadue. So, John Menadue wrote a blog, and in that blog John is generally quite critical of government policy, irrespective of that policy—he goes on about turning back the boats and a number of other different policies. I note he was a founding chair of New Matilda as well. Where in that blog does it actually say that government modelling shows a net increase of just 5,000 jobs?

Mr Kyloh : I would have to take that on notice. I am not entirely sure where in that blog that—

Mr CREWTHER: Perhaps I will just read to you a section of that document. It actually quotes the Centre for International Economics as stating:

The CIE study also found that as a result of the three FTAs, Australian jobs would increase by 5,434 by 2035.

The Centre for International Economics, obviously, is not government—it is not government modelling shown in that increase. Whereas you actually say that it is government modelling showing that increase in your submission. So I just want to see where you got that 5,000 increase from government modelling from.

Mr Kyloh : I think the point is that, unfortunately, sometimes the government has overegged the benefits from free trade agreements. I am prepared to take that on notice and look at that. Thank you for highlighting that. We are prepared to look at that.

I think what we have seen is institutions like the Productivity Commission highlighting that actually the economic benefits from free trade agreements are not always as great as other studies have suggested. And when we come to the TPP itself, as we have said, we have two major studies. One is from the World Bank, which says 0.7 per cent to 2030. If we take, generously, a 10-year time frame that is 0.07 per cent growth per annum. That is a minor blip. That is not substantial growth.

We then have the Tufts University paper that suggests there were 39,000 job losses and an increase in income inequality, and actually puts figures on that—on labour share of income actually falling by 0.72 per cent to 2025. So the empirical evidence that we have for this trade agreement, for the TPP, is those two studies. That is exactly why we need to do an independent Australia-based economic study.

Mr CREWTHER: I think the question was more—and you can take it on notice—about how you specifically stated that the government's own modelling is that the increase is by 5,000 when, in that document that you referenced, it is actually the Centre for International Economics. But I am happy for you to take that on notice.

CHAIR: As am I, as the chair. Thank you for your evidence here today. I am cognisant of the time. If you have been asked to provide any additional information, would you please forward it to the secretary within seven working days—and I believe you have been. You will be sent a copy of the transcript of your evidence and will have an opportunity to request corrections to any transcription errors. Thank you very much for attending.