Free trade

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South African exports to the rest of the continent have more than doubled over the past 20 years. This has been driven by agricultural products, including maize. Shutterstock

Why Africa offers growing opportunities for agricultural products

The demand for agricultural products in Africa is expected to rise over the next 35 years due to factors such as population growth, urbanisation, economic growth and changing diets.
Trade among African countries is the lowest globally as barriers to the easy movement of goods across borders remain. Reuters/James Akena

What African countries must do to boost trade among themselves

Sub-Saharan African countries have the lowest trade among themselves compared with other regions. This is why there has been a major focus on reducing red tape and other non-tariff trade barriers
Republicans and Democrats have a hard time agreeing on anything, but the issue of trade seems to defy party affiliation. Teeter totter via www.shutterstock.com

Why fight over free trade confounds partisan divide

The passage of fast-track trading authority represents a rare moment of bipartisan compromise. How did it happen?
The fight over fast-track trade authority increasingly resembles a Shakespearean tragedy. Tempest via www.shutterstock.com

Obama, Shakespeare and the aborted legacy of the Trans-Pacific trade agreement

Events in Washington this week on the proposed historic 12-member Trans-Pacific trade agreement have had all the key elements of a Shakespearean tragedy. A resolute, noble and well-intentioned ruler (played…
Australian cattle wait to be loaded onto a ship to Indonesia. Their voyage to the United States would be even longer. AAP Image/Xavier La Canna

Why exporting live cattle to the United States is a bad idea

Australia's cattle industry is keen to begin live exports to the United States. But America is very different to existing live export markets such as Indonesia, making the move much more ethically fraught.
A still from a NSW election ad, run on television and online, which says “selling the electricity network is wrong; selling it to another country is just not on”. CFMEU Mining/YouTube

Playing the China card may win votes, but it’s bad for Australia

Labor and the unions have decided to play the China card in the NSW election. Such scare campaigns ignore the facts, including that Australia has invested almost as much in China as China has here.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb hasn’t dropped the ball on India. Graham Crouch/DFAT/AAP

India-Australia trade push another win for bilateralism

Australia’s trade mission to India under Andrew Robb last week provided a much needed impetus to conclude an Australia-India free trade agreement in 2015. This would be a crowning achievement for the current…
Direct negotiations between top leaders may be the best and only way to get significant trade deals done, which requires fast-track authority. Reuters

Updating ‘fast-track’ is key to getting a trade deal in 2015

With the resounding Republican victory in November’s midterm elections, most pundits are despairing that Congress and President Barack Obama will find any areas for cooperation in the coming two years…

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