Trade

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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 Export-Import Bank provides financing and other services to help foreign companies buy US products like Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Boeing 787 via www.shutterstock.com

Why Congress should keep the imperiled Export-Import Bank

The more than 80-year-old credit agency is set to expire at the end of the month if Congress does not act to keep the profitable bank alive.
US President Barack Obama speaks at the US-Africa leaders summit. The number of US programs and initiatives on the continent has grown exponentially. EPA

Obama’s visit to Kenya: why Africa matters to America

Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Kenya is a clear sign American military and economic involvement in Africa will continue to rise amid growing Chinese influence.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. REUTERS/Diego Azubel/Pool

How to rebalance Africa’s relationship with China

For sub-Saharan Africa to benefit fully from its growing economic ties with China both parties need to change their behaviour and attitude.
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran. EPA

Ms Bishop goes to Tehran: a story of good news and bad news

Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.
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…
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…
Australia is now the most China-dependent economy in the world – does this pose a problem for our future? AAP/Alan Porritt

Australia’s China dependence: do we need a Plan B?

If something can’t go on for ever, it won’t. – Herb Stein, chief economic adviser to former US president Richard Nixon. China’s economic rise has been a good news story for Australia. According to most…
Golden handshake. Abe and Xi meet on the sidelines of the APEC meeting on Beijing. Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/EPA

APEC summit shows how hard it is to define the Asian ‘region’

With considerable pomp and circumstance – and at considerable expense – it fell to China to host the annual APEC summit this year. If it lives long in the memory at all, the meeting will probably be remembered…
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…
Central to the processes of the PBS is the idea that drugs with identical or similar clinical outcomes should have similar prices. Thinglass/Shutterstock

How the US trade deal undermined Australia’s PBS

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…
Who read the fine print? US president George W. Bush signs the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act in the White House Rose Garden in August 2004. EPA/Matthew Cavanaugh

A decade on, is the Australia-US FTA fit for the 21st century?

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…
The Trans-Pacific Partnership agenda is again being driven by the US on behalf of its major export industries. EPA/How Hwee Young

Trans-Pacific Partnership piles up challenges for democracy

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…
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…

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