Articles on Free trade

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Diplomatic smiles and handshakes are in order when Chinese and US representatives meet, but separate trade talks driven by Beijing and Washington represent a high-stakes contest for influence. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Who calls the tune? Asia has to dance to duelling trade agendas

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…
Many Australian exporters find it difficult to crack the US government procurement market, while our policy leaves the door more open to US firms. Shutterstock

Australia’s procurement policy leaves our exporters behind

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…
China’s market for milk is huge, but not without its challenges. Mark & Andrea Busse/Flickr

With a free trade deal Australia can win China’s dairy market

The clock is ticking down to the end of year deadline Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given for sign off on a free trade agreement with China. In this China-Australia FTA series we explore what…
With the world watching, Australia’s FTA with China is likely to be more about diplomacy than economics. Parker Song/EPA/AAP

Bar set low for a ‘do no harm’ China-Australia FTA

The clock is ticking down to the end of year deadline Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has given for sign off on a free trade agreement with China. In this China-Australia FTA series we explore what…
Trades deals, such as the one between Australia and Singapore, may require extensive cooperation between the Commonwealth and states. AAP/EPA/Wallace Woon

Federalism reform and trade policy must go hand in hand

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In this special series, we ask leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy…
Australia’s trade relationship with Russia looked better in 2007. Dean Lewins/AAP

Tough talk but little to lose on Russian trade sanctions

Poke a Russian bear with a stick and he will retaliate. That’s the lesson facing Australian exporters today. When Australia announced it would join the United States and Europe in placing trade sanctions…
News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch joined Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and Business Council of Australia President Catherine Livingstone at the B20 summit this week. Jason Reed/AAP/Reuters

The B20 summit: where cashed-up lobbyists meet to write trade rules?

The Business 20 (B20) summit typically attracts the global corporate glitterati, as the usual suspects assemble in alpine retreats like Davos; cinema-infused beach towns like Cannes; or sunny Mexican resorts…
Signing a Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan was the highlight of Tony Abbott’s whirlwind northeast Asia trip, which also took in China and South Korea. EPA/Kimmasa Mayama

Abbott’s Asia trip comes off – for now

Prime minister Tony Abbott’s diplomatic and trade mission to northeast Asia can be hailed as a success. Overall, it met its main objectives. The trip has strengthened the already deepening relationship…
Achieving a free trade agreement with China would be a major achievement for the Abbott government given the obstacles currently in the way. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Japan and free trade create twin challenges for Abbott in China

Despite the misgivings of the sceptics, prime minister Tony Abbott’s high-profile, potentially high-risk trade mission to northeast Asia could be a triumph. The free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan is…
Tony Abbott has declared Japan, under prime minister Shinzo Abe, as Australia’s ‘best friend in Asia’. But this might come at a cost as Abbott seeks to close a FTA with China. EPA/Mast Irham

Abbott’s pursuit of Japan risks a free trade agreement with China

Prime minister Tony Abbott will be hoping the Japanese leg of his ambitious trade trip to northeast Asia can replicate the success of securing a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea. The close relations…
The fragile five economies have become surrogates for the developing world in meetings like the G20. Shutterstock

Explainer: the G20 and the fragile five

Financial markets love to come up with snappy acronyms – you have all heard of BRICS, but there are many others, with the “fragile five” being the latest. The BIITS - Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa…
Meet Davos – your big new friend with questionable intentions. mike fischer

With culture on the free trade agenda, we must protect our own

You meet someone. Someone different. Someone attractive, open, free. Let’s call him Davos. You start seeing a lot of each other, hanging out as a couple. As always when you’re in a relationship, a degree…
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…
Jetstar Hong Kong remains grounded, as it awaits government approval. danzden/Flickr

Asia should shine brighter for blinkered Qantas

The downgrade of Qantas’ credit rating to junk status by Standard & Poor’s has sparked serious concern for the future of the airline. But the fact is the airline industry has largely been unprofitable…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks to Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri during a business breakfast in Jakarta in October. Bagus Indahono/AAP

Australian trade with Indonesia: what’s really at stake?

Indonesia has a population ten times as big as that of Australia, but its per capita income is only one-tenth of Australia’s, so what’s really at risk if the trade relationship between the two countries…
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…

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