With the TPP being signed this morning, pressure is continuing on the text of the deal to be released. There have been relatively few facts confirmed by those negotiating it about what’s in or out of the potentially momentous agreement, but it’s worth pointing out one of the few things confirmed by the department is good news for public broadcasters.

In July, a memorandum on state-owned enterprises (SOEs) was leaked that showed the TPP would require them to act commercially. If this were to apply to public broadcasters, it could affect things like content, specifically decisions to broadcast in non-“commercial” areas like local news or children’s programming.

But the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade assured Crikey in July that public broadcasters would not be considered state-owned enterprises for the purposes of the agreement.

“Commercial considerations is a concept aimed at ensuring an SOE’s decisions around purchases and sales are based on considerations such as price, quality, availability and other factors ordinarily taken into account by privately owned enterprises in the relevant industry,” a spokesperson said, but added that it wouldn’t apply to the public broadcasters, or to state-owned enterprises at a state and territory level. — Myriam Robin

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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