This issue has been challenged because some analysts consider the increase in other countries` economic dependence on China to be a strategic step in China`s geopolitical policy, thereby increasing its influence. 13.5 The Committee was informed that, when seeking to consult with the Commonwealth on treaties, states should consult with the Commonwealth on their own international agreements before concluding them.  Roger Wilkins, Director General of the NSW Office, acknowledged that there had been several instances where Commonwealth policy and international state agreements in trade or agriculture had clashed.  Senator Cooney responded by suggesting that these problems could be overcome if there was a two-way consultation body.  Penny Wong, the shadowy foreign minister, said Labor supported the general idea behind the bill. “We will carefully review the legislation as it is presented to ensure that it is both operational and consistent with the powers of Parliament.” In addition, some states and universities have entered into agreements with the Chinese authorities for the creation of Confucius institutes or other language and cultural programmes. A year earlier, the then treasurer, Morrison, had announced a tightening of foreign investment rules in connection with the controversial sale of Darwin Harbour to a Chinese company. Ms. Tyers – [N]gotiations on contracts continues between different Commonwealth departments and a number of government departments of the state, making it very difficult to coordinate the process.
It should also be noted that many of the subsequent information and consultation proposals [with States] described above could not be implemented without costs, both in financial terms and in terms of significant delays in the contractual process.  The decision to lease the port of Darwin to a company with Chinese government ties has also raised concerns. 13.60 Several scientific commentators have provided evidence to the Committee in some cases where consultation with states and territories has resulted in significant delays in the ratification of international treaties.  The U.S. Constitution distinguishes treaties from other agreements and pacts in three ways. First, only the federal government can enter into a “contract, alliance or confederation.” States may enter into an “agreement or pact” with other states or with foreign powers, but only with the agreement of Congress (Article I, Section 10). CHAIR – This continues without the knowledge of the Standing Committee on Contracts? The proposed new powers are intended to give the federal government the power to regulate all agreements that the state and territory make to governments, municipal councils and public universities with foreign nations.