Barack Obama has become adept at welcoming new Australian prime ministers to the White House.
2016 will be a year of transitions in the Australia-US relationship. Against a backdrop of change are three important issues: the fight against Islamic State, China, and passage of the TPP.
Western governments are threatening to undermine the encryption that keeps our online communications private.
An open letter signed by security experts from around the world is calling on governments to protect encryption rather than undermine it in a quixotic attempt to tackle terrorism.
Philip Morris tried to game the system. It lost.
Australia's plain packaging win over Philip Morris will kill the ISDS bogeyman.
APEC leaders in Manila this week.
Opposition against Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses seems likely to fall away as Asian economies flock to the TPP.
These Vietnamese tea farmers are set to benefit from the deal. Others might not be so lucky.
Nguyen Huy Kham/Reuters
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been described by its backers as a boon for development. But with no concrete commitments, nor any mention of climate, it is really at odds with the UN development agenda.
The TPP has been released. Can its democratic deficit be overcome?
TPP negotiations have been covered in secrecy, and now as details have been released it only shows a wider democratic deficiency.
How many of these are still protected by copyright?
Copyright lasts the life of the author plus 70 years before it enters the public domain. But the author and their family are often not the beneficiary. Perhaps it's time for shrink that term.
About 98% of US exporters are small businesses.
Cargo ship via www.shutterstock.com
The signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership belies the fact that the US's share of trade in the region has been declining for some time.
The exclusion of China from the TPP comes from the dominance of protectionist interests, such as the US agricultural sector.
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership was really about economic growth, it would include China, rather than deliberately locking it out.
Australia needs agreements like the TPP to counter protectionism.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership may not be a done deal, but Australia cannot avoid the realities of the cut-throat business of international capital, trade and investment.
The new Trans-Pacific trade deal has its sights squarely on financial services.
Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com
Trade minister Andrew Robb must now "sell" the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership - he could do worse than to concentrate on how our services sector will gain.
Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb says the TPP is ‘the biggest global trade deal in 20 years’.
Erik S. Lesser/EPA/AAP
There's still some way to go before the 12 countries involved can celebrate.
Storm clouds are gathering in the Pacific.
Clouds via www.shutterstock.com
Disputes over intellectual property and car parts are emerging as last-minute hurdles as negotiators race to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership ahead of elections.
Trade minister Andrew Robb attends negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership in Sydney last year.
Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image
Over the next few weeks, the trade minister will be under intense pressure to renege on the government’s commitment to reject anything in the Trans Pacific Partnership that could undermine the PBS.
Negotiators appear to be giving Japan’s rice farmers short shrift.
Rice via www.shutterstock.com
Japanese negotiators in Maui appear to be bending to American pressure to accept more US rice imports. The flood of grain, local farmers say, will end their way of life.
Signing the China FTA was just the start.
Exporters like Australia's trade agreements, but the public will take more convincing on the benefits.
Politicians and diplomats love free trade agreements; but the often secretive Investor-State dispute clauses bother the public.
One of the public criticisms of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership involves Investor-State Dispute clauses. But in fact, Australia has already agreed to them in other FTAs.
Republicans and Democrats have a hard time agreeing on anything, but the issue of trade seems to defy party affiliation.
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The passage of fast-track trading authority represents a rare moment of bipartisan compromise. How did it happen?
The president offers a toast to Congress.
The fight over fast-track that pitted the president against his own party offers reasons for both pessimism and optimism in future trade deals.
Even if President Obama gets his fast-track trading authority, his Pacific trade legacy faces a long slog.
Dark road via www.shutterstock.com
The fierce debate in the US Congress that almost derailed the president's trade agenda is likely to replay itself in many of the 11 other capitals that are party to the deal.