Here is DFATs fact sheet on US-Australia trade that demonstrates the great “dudness” of the FTA deal with the US signed by Howard back in the early 2000’s.
Trade – A whopping fat deficit on Australian exports – $20B on merchandise and $6B on services.
$26B in favour of the US in a single year!
So much for all that US market access that was going to make the deal so worthwhile. Instead all that has happened is that we are buying much more US ‘stuff’ than we sell them.
Capital – A whopping fat deficit in capital direct investment – $70B.
As to how much of those flows are productive capital inflows and how much are unproductive capital inflows is difficult to tell – odds on that most are unproductive as that is the type that Australia seems to prefer. For more on the difference click here.
We don’t do new factories and plant. A block of flats is about as far as we go these days.
In other words we are buying US exports with a large chunk of the proceeds of selling the US our assets and claims on our future income.
We need an Aussie Trade Trump to rip the USAFTA up as a “bad deal” because Trump will NOT once he realises it is a “beautiful deal” for the US.
Julie ‘Hollywood’ Bishop confirmed as much the other day when she expressed puzzlement that Trump had a ‘beef’ with a deal that so thoroughly sold out Australia.
Poor Malcolm is confused.
Life was so much simpler for his government when everyone (including Penny Wong and assorted economic neoliberal mini-me’s in the ALP) agreed that selling out Australia in a dud FTA was a brillant idea and the way of the future.
Come on Penny, Bill, Richard, Jacquie, Pauline and Nick.
It is time to rip up the dud USAFTA that the “little sheriff” signed 16 years ago when he was most desperate to make pals in Washington.
If it upsets the Americans too much they can always send Joe Hockey home.
The only good thing one can say about the USAFTA is that it is not nearly as bad as ChAFTA which takes “dud” to a whole new level.