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. 2 . 3 . 4
Doug is first.
From: Doug Cameron
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2003 13:54
To: Alan Oxley
Subject: First response
I am afraid that the same old rhetoric on the benefits
of free trade will not be sufficient to answer the increasing critical analysis being undertaken by unions, civil society, independent academics, and now the government's own Productivity Commission.
Despite your best attempts to justify a free trade
agreement with the United States the evidence is mounting
that it is not in Australia's interest.
My contention that the USFTA will not advance the
social and economic position of the majority of working
Australians is receiving widespread independent support.
Despite your unsubstantiated claims that the USFTA
will protect and increase jobs for Australian workers,
the Productivity Commission, after extensive analysis,
contradicts your fundamental thesis.
Productivity Commission research, reported in the
Review (26 May 2003) finds that:
- Most preferential trade deals negotiated over the
past four decades have depressed rather than expanded
- Preferential trade deals divert more trade from
non-member countries than they create between countries
signing the agreement.
- 12 out of 18 bilateral free trade agreements had
reduced the value of exports even after allowing for
the impact of other factors that influence trade flows.
- Agreements that reduced trade included some of
the most liberalising, including, NAFTA, the European
Union, the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations
Agreement, and the Mercosur agreement between Argentina,
Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
- Some of the more prominent Preferential Trading
Agreements have not even succeeded in creating more
trade among members.
When you've got the Productivity Commission and the
AMWU against you, you're in trouble!
You claim that the USFTA will not undermine Australia's
culture. However in the APEC Study of August 2001, partly
authored by you, it is claimed that one of the benefits
of the USFTA is the influence of US management on Australian
management. Your report observes favourably that US
firms "were less likely to recognise unions".
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