Editorial - War for trade?

THE war.

It is a topic that is not far from everyone’s thoughts at the moment as our troops become involved in this controversial conflict.

From a business perspective, there are a number of issues that arise through such an event – from wild swings in the markets to shipments of goods being caught in transit.

But, in this war, there is another big issue for many in the business community.

While our prime minister might deny a direct link, a free trade agreement with the US may well be a reward for our commitment in Iraq for the fact that we are just one of two nations to join the US in this war is significant.

Will the result of joining the coalition be a trade deal with the US? And, more importantly, do we want it?

A true free trade agreement with the US has great value for Australia in many areas, but would we be able to get such an agreement in the face of the determined efforts of lobby groups that have created the patchwork of protection that exists in America.

If, like me, you are unsure about the impact of such an agreement, WA Business News will be covering the visit of Canberra’s chief negotiator Stephen Deady who will also discuss the issue at a breakfast we are hosting on April 11.

He and his counterpart Justin Brown, who is in similar negotiations with Thailand and involved in other key markets such as Japan and China (where many would argue our real future lies), will both be taking questions on the issue.


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