The US/Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act Passed Aug 2004

Friday, July 12, 2013

Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are agreements relating to trade between two countries. The agreements cover farming, beef, pharmaceuticals, bio security, manufacturing, cotton, steel, wine and more.

When Australia went to the table in 2004 to negotiate the FTA with the US they went in unprepared, and with the misguided belief that you have a “special relationship” with your negotiating partner; and they are going to look after your interests. Forget about getting approval from your Parliament, or establishing a firm negotiating position with major stakeholders… And don’t bother about the comprehensive process for approving the outcomes of negotiations. Simply allow the Prime Minister responsible for the deal to sign it, then rush it through Parliament without meaningful public debate. (from the book “How to Kill a Country”).

This is what the Howard Liberal Government signed away with support of the Labor Government.


We will completely open our The US is allowed to keep many 
market to all US agricultural of its tariffs, quotas, seasonal 
exports, removing all tariffs, restrictions and (enormous) subsidies
quotas, seasonal restrictions in place.
and subsidies from day one.

No tariffs remain. Tariffs remain in place for key sectors
like wool (10years), wine (11years),
steel, as well as beef, dairy, horticulture
and cotton (18years).

No safeguards negotiated. If Australian exports to the US rise 
‘too quickly’, or Australian prices 
become too competitive against the 
exchange rate, the US can slap their 
tariffs back on, no questions asked.

No seasonal restrictions. During Australia’s peak production times
of certain horticultural products (like
avocado’s) Australia is allowed to 
export only a limited amount to the US. 

No restrictions on US sugar imports. Severe restrictions on the importation
of Australian sugar will remain in place.

Our beef producers will have to wait for 18 years before quotas and tariffs are removed but price safeguards will remain to protect US beef.

Mark Vale the Minister for Trade in the Howard Government said: 

"…as a nation that exports two-thirds of its agricultural produce, strong science-based international rules on quarantine - as exhibited in the WTO SPS Agreement - are very much in our national interest..." 

Let us be very clear on this. Quarantine barriers are not something that the government will trade-off for any reason be it in response to political pressure or to gain better market access for some other commodity.

If that was the governments belief…..Australians would surely be startled, if not alarmed, to know that under the FTA we have agreed to let US trade officials sit on the bodies that will influence our quarantine standards. Formalising the participation of US trade representatives in our quarantine decision-making processes will give foreign government officials the power to intervene in policies crucial to our national economic security.

Australia FTA with the US and its impact:

  • Our medicines will be more expensive because the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will be undermined, and competition from generics will be almost extinguished.
  • Our agricultural exports will be compromised because we open the door to new pests and diseases.
  • ‘Buy American’ norms will prevail over ‘Buy Australian: in our government procurement markets.
  • Royalty flows to the United States will increase through greater protection for US patents and copyrights.

This is a very brief overview from HOW TO KILL A COUNTRY written by Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews. We advise all Australians to read the book. 

Our country, our right to a fair go and belief that our parliamentary representatives are looking after our best interests is not so. 

In January 1998, Pauline Hanson informed the public about the Multilateral Agreement on Investment our Government was negotiating in secret. After she informed the public that the agreement was not in their best interests, it created debate and stopped the signing at that time. 

If Pauline had been in Parliament in 2004 Australians would have known about the Australia/US Free Trade Agreement and how it has not been in the best interests of Australians. 

Pauline Hanson and One Nation will be your defence against bad government.



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