Articles on Free trade

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Fewer trade hurdles won’t necessarily help Britain’s economy. Martin Rickett/PA

Dodgy economics of the transatlantic free trade deal

The Conservative Party’s 2010 general election manifesto could not have been clearer: “A sustainable recovery must be driven by growth in exports”. As George Osborne specified, the target was “net exports…
Concern over the transparency of TPP negotiations grew after it was revealed negotiating documents could not be released until four years after the completion of the negotiations. Azhar Rahim/AAP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Australia’s right to know

In the history of trade agreement negotiations, most have been undertaken in secret, justified on the grounds that the governments’ negotiating positions would be weakened if they became public. But this…
The economic argument for an FTA with China isn’t as strong as some may assume. derekGavey/Flickr

Why an Australian FTA with China has never stacked up

Despite trade in goods and services between Australia and China exceeding A$125 billion in 2012, negotiations between the two countries for an FTA that began in 2005 have been so unproductive that both…
Australian firms fear Abbott may sign anything to get Xi Jinping’s name on the dotted line.

An FTA with China in 12 months is a big ask

Forget APEC. That is so 1997. Prime Minister Abbott has recently established an ambitious – not to mention exceedingly optimistic – deadline of 12 months to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with China…
The new government faces sorting out a complex mess of stalled talks on various free trade agreements. AAP

Why embracing free trade may be more complicated than it looks

If headlines are to be believed, the new Coalition government is set to “embrace free trade” in its first term in office. In announcing his new Ministry last week, Tony Abbott has made significant changes…
Australia has embraced clean technology, but if we want to make a big difference we should free up clean tech trade. Espen Klem

Want a big idea? Let’s lead the world and free up clean tech trade

In 2014, Australia will host the G20 Summit. The Prime Minister’s Office has been canvassing privately for a Big Idea to present, something to take the green debate forward and put Australia’s stamp on…
Julia Gillard has achieved a significant foreign policy coup in China, although progress has stalled on a bilateral free-trade agreement. AAP

Gillard’s China visit: a silver platter for Abbott?

If you believe the opinion polls, Julia Gillard has had a very busy week in China setting the China policy direction and institutional framework for a future Coalition government. Tony Abbott must be delighted…
Trade Minister Craig Emerson is committed to pursuing a free trade agenda at the Doha Development Round. But will other countries follow suit? AAP

Can Australia revive the Doha Development Agenda?

Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson’s opinion piece in The Weekend Australian, titled “Doha is no dodo as it takes off on new flight path”, brings new enthusiasm and life to the Doha Development Agenda…
There has been little debate around the proposed Defence Trade Controls Bill, which could criminalise common research activities. Image sourced from

Science and the slammer: the consequences of Australia’s new export control regime

At this moment, Australian Parliament is considering a Bill with far-reaching consequences for Australian research aimed at improving health, and fostering innovation in communications, mining, agriculture…
Indonesia’s Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Julia Gillard both have domestic issues to overcome. AAP

Mending Indonesia ties will take more than free trade

Indonesia has announced that it will finally join the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in January next year, making it the last of the 12 states involved to formally to implement the agreement…
Strategic friendships: will Australia’s decision to sign up to Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement impact on our relationship with China? AAP

A ‘zhengyou’ to China? Signing with Obama on trade puts this friendship to the test

The task of simultaneously negotiating our traditional security and cultural ties with the US, and our burgeoning economic relationship with China, can justifiably be described as the “great foreign policy…
By 2050, China’s economy is projected to be as large as the US and India combined. AAP

Doing business with China is a necessity, not a choice

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has sparked some controversy with his suggestion that Australia’s trade emphasis should be on Japan, rather than China. Abbott’s suggestion that it would be easier to negotiate…

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