Inquiry into the Australian Government’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements

Policies, Publications & Submissions - October 6, 2023

The ACTU supports fair trade as a vehicle for economic growth, job creation, tackling inequality and raising living standards. The most important objective of trade policy should be to deliver benefits to workers, the community and the economy by increasing opportunities for local businesses, creating quality local jobs, and protecting public services. The benefits of trade must be shared among our community, and promote equitable development abroad. We have longstanding concerns, however, about the previous Government’s agenda on trade which places the needs of business above all else – where businesses and investors enjoy significant rights with few responsibilities – jeopardising local jobs, undermining working conditions, and compromising the ability of current and future Australian Governments to regulate in the public interest.

The need for a more open and democratic process for trade agreements is more important than ever now because they are no longer simply tariff deals: they increasingly deal with an expanding range of other regulatory issues which would normally be debated and legislated through the democratic parliamentary process, and which have deep impacts on workers’ lives.

The ACTU Network

Australian Unions

Whether you want to join a union, take action in campaigns, or make the most of the benefits of being a union member, Australian Unions is the place to go for information and resources.
Visit Australian Unions

Mind Your Head

We’re taking action to protect workplace mental health.
Visit Mind Your Head


Your rights at work for students and for people entering the workforce for the first time.
Visit Worksite


Information and resources for health and safety representatives and workers about how to speak up at work for health and safety.
Visit OHS

Union Aid Abroad

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is the overseas aid and development agency of the ACTU. Our work aims to build self-reliance through support to educational and training projects for workers and their organisations in the developing world.
Visit Union Aid Abroad

ACTU National Union Directory

Find who you are looking for from the who’s who of the union movement.
Visit the ACTU National Union Dictionary
Australian Council of Trade Unions

Representing Australian workers and their families.