How to Kill a Country
Australia's devastating trade deal with the United States
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It's hard to believe an Australian government could sign a deal which so betrays Australia's interests. How to Kill a Country demonstrates how the FTA as negotiated will seriously damage Australia's institutions, interests and identity.
Three of Australia's leading policy analysts have investigated the fine print of Australia's Free Trade Agreement with the US. What they found is that the lopsidedness of the deal is just the beginning of the story. Most harmful is the sacrifice of our national autonomy and control over key institutions that underpin our prosperity.
* Our medicines will be more expensive because the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will be undermined, and competition from generics will be almost extinguished;
* Our agricultural exports will be compromised because we open the door to new pests and diseases;
* Our top exports beef, dairy, wine and steel will not see the full removal of tariffs and quotas for up to 18 years;
* Buy American norms will prevail over Buy Australian in our government procurement markets;
* Royalty flows to the US will increase through greater protection for US patents and copyrights.
The Australian government claims the FTA will boost Australia's exports and local economy. The reality is that the FTA overturns Australia's laws and institutions, and turns the country into an appendage of the United States. Australia faces the prospect of becoming a Vanishing Country' in the way that Canada is described, 15 years after signing its FTA with the US.
- Allen & Unwin, October 2004
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