Un-Fair Trade as Friendly Fire: The Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement


Trade, economists and trade theorists advise, is a mutually beneficial exercise. Among this group, a particular set of advocates, claim that “Free Trade” is in the interest of all parties. As will be demonstrated, Free Trade is not truly “free” but an exercise of foreign policy and the implementation of policies favouring wealthy corporate interest groups. Free Trade is controlled by wealthy nations who have stacked the rules in favour of themselves, and in particular their corporate interests, and against the poor producers in poor nations. This control is used contrary to fairness, economic and ecological logic. Fair trade, by way of contrast, is an effort to balance the benefits of trade between the trading partners, and ensure that a fairer distribution of the surplus value created by trade ends up in the hands of those who most need it and produced the goods. This paper looks at a trade agreement, the USA-Australia FTA which is well suited to a case study of the various aspects of trade theory, and in particular the fairness, economic and ecological aspects. It deals with the peculiar situation of Australia, a developed, ally of the USA which happens to be located in a tropical climate.


Agriculture Law | Antitrust and Trade Regulation | Business Organizations Law | Commercial Law | Consumer Protection Law | Economics | Environmental Law | Food and Drug Law | Government Contracts | International Law | International Trade Law | Law | Law and Economics | Law and Politics | Law and Society

Date of this Version

September 2006