| Australian Labor MP Craig Emerson (Shadow
Minister for Innovation Industry and Trade) has
been running a series of emails on "Putting Australia's National
Interest First. Excerpts from Update No. 4 follow:
outspoken comments on behalf of Labor on the proposed US-Australia free
trade agreement have earned the condemnation of the Murdoch press....
Australian’s editorial of 6 May 2003 condemns my statement on ABC
radio that if Labor won office before a trade deal was struck with the US,
the incoming government “would need to have a very careful look” to
make sure the deal was in Australia’s national interest rather than
condemnation extends to me “signalling to the US Government that [I am]
deeply suspicious of its motives”.
the negotiations I would expect the US Government to behave in the
national interest of the United States.
And I’m sure it will. Successive
Administrations have and this won’t change.....
to the beliefs of The Australian, the interests of the US and those
of Australia don’t automatically coincide (....and ....) meanwhile,
Australia is being asked to weaken its quarantine system, local content
rules for television, Foreign Investment Review Board and possibly the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
test of any trade agreement must be whether or not it’s in Australia’s
Emerson comments on the issue of wheat
sales to Iraq
his recent visit to the US, Trade Minister Mark Vaile claimed he had
gained assurances that in competing with Australian wheat sales to Iraq,
the US would not use “excessive subsidies”.
President Bush assured Prime Minister Howard that competition would be on
a level playing field.
US Farm Act provides subsidies of $US150 billion to US farmers.
That’s more than one-third the size of the Australian economy.
Vaile apparently doesn’t consider these subsidies to be “excessive”.
Is this what the US means by a level playing field?
our next update we'll brief you on provisions that will be imported from
the North American Free Trade Agreement to the US-Australia FTA that will
allow foreign multinational companies to sue Federal, state and local
governments in Australia seeking to regulate for the social good,
if the laws or regulations affect their profits.
Minister for Innovation, Industry and Trade
can subscribe to Craig Emerson's Newsletter by emailing him at www.craigemersonmp.com