Australia not very secretly leads Asian free trade push

Via Domain:

Trade representatives from more than a dozen countries have flown into Australia to conduct highly secretive negotiations on a mega deal that will sideline the United States amid the ongoing economic fall-out from the US-China trade war.

All 10 ASEAN member states and their partners; China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India, will be locked in negotiations in Melbourne from Friday over an EU-style trade deal known as the pan-Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP].

The 16 nations will be negotiating what Trade Minister Simon Birmingham calls “one of the most economically significant trade agreements in the world” after Prime Minister Scott Morrison used the G20 in Osaka to urge both the US and China to resolve their disputes to avoid global collateral damage.

Big own goal there for El Trumpo.

But how does this fit with yesterday’s declaration by ScoMo that China is an open trade cheat and the US has every right to be upset about it? Not very well. Though it must be noted that it also includes a swath of other formal US allies and India.

The RCEP pre-dates the trade war so it does not necessarily have to be seen as a rival to either it or the TPP.

We’ll have to wait for the text of the thing, if it is ever released.

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  1. Will this trade deal be any different to the TPP? Here is what has been previously written about the TPP:

    Reading through these previous articles makes me think that if this deal is similar to the TPP, it will be bad for Australia and average Australians.

    So our current government is in secret trade deals behind America’s back with China, and the end result (when is it not with these guys?) is that we will see continued pressure on public health and continued out of control immigration?

    I think that this is a unfortunate turn of events.

    • Agreed.

      Just another sell out treaty in the making. Lots more vibrants. lot more selling out of Oz assets, lots more govt expenditure to support the rising population, more de-industrialisation and loss of our farms and mines, plus the cherry on the cake are the special international dispute resolution measures to keep us all subject to foreign interests if we want to change things. Meanwhile our “partners” will use all sorts of measures to ensure there is little if any benefit tor us (as has been the case with our Singapore and US FTAs), and in any case our govt will not act to support our companies when they get reamed overseas, eg the takeover of Kingsgate’s gold mine in Thailand by the govt despite the FTA we have with them.

  2. John Howards Bowling Coach

    FTAs are only good for the biggest and strongest partner of which we are not. I asked Rudd when I was in DFAT for the net benefit to Australia from the FTAs we had signed. I asked Robb the same, I was met with a blank stare and silence. They use the weasel term bilateral trade to hide the fact our trade goes down while we get flooded by goods, services, and buy outs from those nations we lower our trousers to…