UnAustralian United States Free Trade Agreement

Peter Gallagher shows our fears were well founded with his recent presentation.  I can’t believe the AUSFTA has been in place for five years.  We heard about its ‘success‘ after 12 months and this is the first any one has heard of it since.

Written late 2004.

Things that concern me about the US FTA are the delayed access of aussie ag products to the US market, the impact of US intellectual property rights on the aussie economy (gimme gimme) and the lack of fair use (its all mine, screw you aussies) in the deal, there has been zero consideration of the social and economic impacts of exotic diseases in domestic industries (bye bye quarantine), the impact it will have on aussie manufacturing – not that I’m sure what constitutes manufacturing anymore, the unequal application of country of origin rules in agreement, the inadequacy of amendments agreed to in relation to aussie media content, the potential undesirable consequences for regional areas and the lack of protection of the Australian national interest (there goes anything ever called Australian).

I am not opposed to the United States Free Trade Agreement but the way it stands, Australian’s are being duped. We gain a mere $58 million dollars annually whilst we are excluded from the US sugar market and the beef and dairy tariff reductions will be phased in over 18 years. Whereas all US agricultural exports to Australia will receive immediate duty-free access (bye bye those industries).

Parliamentary polling showed

48% people oppose the free trade agreement
41% support it.
65% agree that Australia could have done better in negotiating the free trade agreement.
9% of voters believe that Australia will benefit most from the FTA,
61% saying that the US will benefit most.
61% of voters oppose Australia becoming more integrated with the American economy.
52% of voters believe that the Prime Minister is putting America’s interests ahead of Australia’s.

Are the Americans liars?

In the 80s they signed the WTO agreement to reduce agricultural support levels by 30%. According to the OECD Ag outlook report, they have increased them by 1%.

For further evidence that this agreement is unAustralian see here, here, and here.

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