Friday, November 14, 2014

China Free Trade Agreement

The test is, will this FTA support and create Australian jobs. Old timers like Liberal Senator Heffernan and I have seen these things before. Extravagant claims for what FTAs will accomplish at the time they’re signed, and totally different outcomes:

  • When the United States Free Trade Agreement was signed, we were told it would generate $4 billion in wealth, but the only $4 billion we’ve seen is a $4 billion increase in our trade deficit, from $11 billion to $15 billion!
  • We have rising inequality – the world’s richest 85 people now own as much as the world’s poorest 50% - 3 and a half billion people combined.
  • We have rising unemployment – 6.2% is higher than US unemployment. 26% unemployment in Broadmeadows. This would be embarrassing in Greece or Spain.
An FTA with China needs to retain labour market testing, and maintain the Australian Government’s power to regulate the movement of overseas workers. We already have over 1 million people in Australia on temporary visas which give them work rights, and unemployment of over 750,000. Enough, already!  And we don’t need any more watering down of our anti-dumping regime. We should be strengthening it.

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