How a new trade deal could make it harder to improve life for Australians in aged care
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signed in November 2020 between Australia and 14 nations including Singapore, Japan and China could make it harder to tighten the regulations relating to aged care.
This isn’t because of any special provisions the agreement contains, but because of a special provision that is missing.
As is common with trade and investment deals signed by the Australian government, the text was only made public after it was signed.
It will not have legal force until the parliament passes implementing legislation after a recommendation from the parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which will hold public hearings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Regulatory Impact Statement presented to the inquiry by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says the chapter on trade in services contains provisions that would “lock-in” existing regulation and require signatories to “not adversely modify existing regulation in particular services sectors”.
The provisions apply to all services other than those specifically exempted.