Articles on Trade agreement

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A trade spat between India and the US was the most serious threat to the WTO in years. Reuters

Why the WTO still matters

Despite sluggishness in the world economy, global trade reached an astonishing US$23 trillion last year. The World Trade Organization has been the primary guarantor of this extraordinary growth in global…
The heart of the matter. The container port at Long Beach. sunslate

Europe faces weapons of legal destruction in USA trade talks

Efforts to build a more effective trading regime between Europe and the USA can reasonably be called positive, both for growth and the ease of doing business. Currently, however, negotiations include proposals…
The Abbott governments rush to sign bilateral trade deals with countries including Japan has meant quality has been sacrificed. Alan Porritt/AAP

Australia’s trade negotiating strategy fundamentally flawed

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
Australia’s approach to trade policy is more thoughtful and calculating than it is given credit for by sections of the media, academia and the public who object to current negotiations. AAP/Newzulu/Jeff Tan

Staying engaged on every front: Australia’s trade policy strategy

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is the first article in the…
The Australian government hopes to finalise the Free Trade Agreement with China by the end of the year. PARKER SONG / POOL/ AAP

Why China-Australia FTA may still be some way off

This week treasurer Joe Hockey, and trade minister Andrew Robb have been in China for the inaugural Australia-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. These talks are one part of the “Strategic Partnership…
Debt; dollar; deficit - the mantra for this year, amid a turbulent political period. AAP

2013, the year that was: Business and Economy

Debt. Dollar. Deficits. Three little words so close to the hearts of our contributors in a year dominated by a critical federal election, a waning mining boom and continuing international turbulence. The…
The WTO negotiations have been plagued with irreconcilable differences from the start. Made Nagi/AAP

WTO struggles across the line in new era of policy malaise

The WTO Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Bali almost failed. By negotiating for one day beyond the scheduled conference time, 159 exhausted nations finally concluded an agreement. What’s at stake are…
South Korea is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner, with the relationship likely to grow under a new free trade agreement. flickr/Emmanuel Dyan

Lessons from South Korea’s Chaebol economy

The trade deal signed yesterday between Australia and South Korea is being promoted as a win by the government for the benefits if will bring to Australian industries including agriculture, automotive…
Bali: no smoke grenades in sight. Tanti Ruwani

Even protesters don’t bother with the WTO these days

Politicians from around the world are gathering in Bali for the ninth World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting. The atmosphere is likely to be a far cry from that of the big meetings in the late…
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…
Boarded up: how companies are trumping our health. Eschipul

Beware, secret trade deals can seriously damage your health

If I asked you to name some of the current threats to your health, “international trade law” probably wouldn’t be on the tip of your tongue. Yet trade agreements, and the way we negotiate them, can affect…
What is the best trade option for Australia’s future? AAP/Alex Ibanez

Multilateral, regional, bilateral: which agreement is best?

One of the first acts of Tony Abbott’s government was to declare it intended to “embrace free trade” in its first term in office. Calling the trade minister Australia’s “ambassador for jobs”, the Coalition…
By allowing ISDS clauses in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Australia could be opening the door to more legal challenges from corporations. mattyp_/Flickr

When trade agreements threaten sovereignty: Australia beware

The leaking of a key Trans-Pacific Partnership document by Wikileaks this week suggests Australia may side with the US on some key issues including the insertion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement…
A Trans Pacific Partnership meeting hosted by US President Barack Obama with the Sultan of Brunei and prime ministers from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia , Singapore and Vietnam, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on November 20, 2012. AAP Image/Auspic, David Foote

Trans Pacific Partnership puts member countries’ health at risk

International trade agreements bring new transnational food companies into countries, along with new food advertising and promotion. This has often led to an increase in unhealthy foods entering the domestic…
The demand for shark fins has pushed threatened shark species from 15 in 1996 to 180 in 2010. Choo Yut Shing

Small win for big fish: convention moves to protect sharks

Each year around 100 million sharks are killed for their fins. The sharks are often pulled from the water, their fins are sliced off and they are thrown back in to drown. The industry is built on the high…
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…

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