Australian Trade Policy

Trade, Labour Mobility and Development in the Pacific – Public meetings in Sydney & Melbourne

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I know it’s been a while since there’s been much action on this blog, but there’s lots of posts in the pipeline! In the meantime, if you’re in Melbourne or Sydney, you may be interested to come along to a special public meeting next week, to be addressed two prominent Pacific Island trade activists: Trade, [...]

FTAs & TRIPs blocking access to life-saving medicines: UN Special Rapporteur on health

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Anand Grover is a lawyer who has appeared in several hundred cases in his native India representing and unholding the rights of people suffering from HIV/AIDS.  He established the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS in India. Last year, he was also appointed by the Un to the position of “Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to [...]

Not much free about this “free” trade agreement

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I guess I should write a bit about the Australia-ASEAN-NZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which was signed over the weekend in Thailand – it’s Australia’s biggest regional FTA to date. The mining industry loves it since it will let them export more Australian minerals to Asia. And the Textile Clothing & Footwear Union hates it, [...]

Food for the future

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Well worth a look (or a listen, if you download the podcast) is ABC’s Background Briefing from last week – entitled “Food for the Future”.  Global Trade Watch contributed some statistics and opinions to the program. Reporter Bronwyn Herbert uses the program to examine some of the issues around the global food trade, and the [...]

Why is Australia still importing illegally-logged timber?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Yesterday’s edition of Melbourne’s The Age newspaper had a worrying article about the influence of extreme pro-free-trade bureaucrats in derailing new laws aimed at restricting illegal timber imports into Australia. Apparently the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been trying to undermine the Rudd Government’s election [...]

Australia-US FTA still a drain on Australia’s economy

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Martin Feil kicks another goal in The Age today with an excellent article assessing the economic impact of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) four years after it took affect on 1 January 2005. As the Parliamentary Library noted in December, the AUSFTA has increased Australia’s merchandise imports from the US and reduced our exports, [...]

FTAs Badly Failing Australia

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

The Australian Parliamentary Library has released a Background Note analysing Australia’s bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which shows how clearly destructive they have been (although the analysis is only from an economic perspective).  It starts by noting that FTAs aren’t really that much about trade anyway: Research suggests that FTAs offer little in the way [...]

Do tariffs matter any more?

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Martin Feil has an interesting article in The Age today criticising “free trade” as not particularly free.  he argues that The global industry protection policy development of the past 30 years has moved light years away from tariffs and has extended into the much broader arena of every other form of government assistance. Our government [...]

Alcoa argues for interests of “future generations” to take precedence over exports

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

What is the world coming to?  It was reported today that Alan Cransberg, chairman of the Australian arm of the mutlinational aluminium producer Alcoa, said that “For too long we have been focused on expanding and maximising energy exports, without proper protection for our own future generations.” What?  Read that again – not only is [...]

Australia-Chile FTA passes parliament

Friday, November 14th, 2008

The implementing legislation for the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement – Customs Amendment (Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Act 2008 – passed the Australian Senate yesterday.  (You can read the House of Representatives “debate” on the bill here).  The media seems to have completely ignored this, presumably because the economic impacts for Australia will be relatively [...]