The Null Device

Free trade showdown

With the details of the free-trade deal revealed (the farmers got screwed over, and we're getting US-style copyright extension), Labor is making noises about resisting it in parliament. Not sure what that will amount to; possibly a few minor cosmetic changes (the equivalent of demanding better lubricant for when you get forcibly sodomised). Anyway, now may be an excellent time to mail your MP about why copyright extension is a bad idea; perhaps if enough Labor MPs get such letters, they'll show enough spine.

There are 3 comments on "Free trade showdown":

Posted by: gjw Fri Mar 5 05:27:08 2004

I'm not sure labor can do much to modify it - as I understand, as a treaty between two countries, if we mess with it bit by bit the US can refuse to stick by its end of the bargain. It's all or nothing. Indeed, the US legislature has the ability to address the treaty as a whole and decide to accept or reject the whole thing...whereas we have to approve each and every legislative change one by one. And if we make changes along the way, the US will demand new negotiations and a weakening of the deal on their end.

Posted by: acb Fri Mar 5 05:41:09 2004

Mind you, the deal is already fairly dubious for Australia, with the Australian dollar at a high. Given that it was agreed without community consultation, I think we're entitled to take a hard line on it.

Posted by: mihaly http:// Sun Mar 7 08:28:18 2004

Listening to John Andersons commentary in response to the cane farmers protest ("LANDLINE" ABC sunday) I'm convinced these pollies have no idea about why FTA could be bad thing (TM). The copyright argument could be a way to open the debate. HE also suggested that community views were taken into account, citing some parliamentary committee that possibly listened to various representatives for 5min before summarily dismissing concerns as "unrealistic". I'm not optimistic about this agreement. I'm also unsure as to why we need such a thing, anyway? isnt there a world market in which the USA must compete like any other country?

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