Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

This is not your fathers ALP

Things really have changed when you can read a report like this in the morning papers:

THE Government has gone on the offensive against rising protectionist sentiment by releasing new research showing that the dismantling of Australian trade barriers over the past 20 years has boosted family incomes by up to $3900 a year.The study by the Centre for International Economics also predicts that if governments around the world succumb to protectionist pressures and increase tariffs on imports to preserve local jobs they will only make the global recession worse.

The centre’s modelling finds that even a small increase in import tariffs globally would cut world economic output by $110 billion a year and would crimp Australia’s economy by nearly $1.5 billion.The Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, released the study yesterday, before this week’s ACTU congress where union leaders will push for the Government to halt negotiations for new bilateral free trade deals and to adopt “Buy Australian” government procurement policies.

A former Union boss, as Trade minister for the Australian Labor Party, pre-releasing research to justify free trade positions. The ALP has come a long, long way since it’s foundation. But in this case I would argue for the better.

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