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Day 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5.
Doug won the toss and goes first.
From: Doug Cameron
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2003 8:32
Subject: Australia should not become the 51st state
I guess you could sum up my opposition to the Free Trade
Agreement along the lines that Australia must not become
the 51st state of America. This FTA has the potential
to destroy our unique culture, our economic independence,
and our capacity to have a modern manufacturing industry
capable of providing diversity and added value to the
economy and the nation.
Not only that but it will exacerbate the structural
imbalance in our economy by weakening our manufacturing
base and consigning Australia to no more than a quarry,
a farm, or a nice place to visit.
What I want is "fair trade". A policy that
enhances employment growth; social justice; core labour
standards; environmental protection; and the advancement
The (USFTA) will not advance the social and economic
position of the majority of working Australians. Worse
an "everything on the table" free trade agreement
or "regional integration agreement" as you
like to call them Alan will cost Australians dearly
in terms of the ability of future governments to meet
their economic, social and cultural policy responsibilities.
Proponents of the USFTA rely on a Centre for International
Economics (CIE) study to argue that a USFTA could lead
to a $4 billion gain for Australia. Nobody seriously
believes this gain will be realised. The gain was rejected
by an ACIL Consulting study commissioned by the government.
The ACIL Consulting report found that a USFTA would
actually harm Australia. Even neoclassical economists
like Ross Garnaut have rejected the findings of the
CIE report. The AMWU and others have also criticized
the unrealistic econometric assumptions underpinning
the CIE study.
Even if we accept the dubious gains - the CIE study suggests only that GDP will be 0.4% higher in the long run for full liberalisation, including agriculture. This is a tiny gain for what will be asked of Australia.
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