Unfair Trade as Friendly Fire: The United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement

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Abstract

Trade, economists and trade theorists advise, is a mutually beneficial exercise. Among this group, a particular set of advocates, claim that" Free Trade" is in the interest of all parties. As will be demonstrated, Free Trade is not truly" free" but an exercise of foreign policy and the implementation of policies favouring wealthy corporate interest groups. Free Trade is controlled by wealthy nations who have stacked the rules in favour of themselves, and in particular their corporate interests, and against the poor producers in poor nations. This control is used contrary to fairness, economic and ecological logic. Fair trade, by way of contrast, is an effort to balance the benefits of trade between the trading partners, and ensure that a fairer distribution of the surplus value created by trade ends up in the hands of those who most need it and who have produced the goods. This paper looks at a trade agreement, the USA-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is well suited to a case study of the various aspects of trade theory, and in particular the fairness, economic and ecological aspects. It examines the trade agreement between Australia, a developed country located in a tropical climate, and an ally of the USA, and the world’s leading power, the USA itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-87
Number of pages18
JournalCurrents: International Trade Law Journal
Volume16
Issue number2 - Winter
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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