Coalition falls on own free trade sword

After spending years concluding free trade agreements (FTAs) with any nation that would sign, and presided over Australia’s manufacturing decimation, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repented, decrying that Australia has lost its self-respect and self-sufficiency:

Australia has traded off long-term national security for short term economic gain. If good is to come from this crisis, it must focus countries’ minds on the need to be self-­reliant as well as rich.

…what so many countries are now discovering is their dependence on global supply chains (and ultimately their dependence on other governments) for a host of products that don’t normally seem that important; but are suddenly realised to be absolutely critical in a crisis, like the 80% of the basic ingredients of all the world’s pharmaceutical drugs that are reportedly sourced from China…

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