Unions are not convinced that the Free Trade Agreement with the United States is in the countries best interest and remained concerned about job losses in our manufacturing industry as well as the loss of Australian intellectual property rights.
A meeting of the Executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions in
Sydney today unions resolved:
The US/FTA negotiated by the Howard
Government is in fact a preferential trade deal in the immediate interest of US
companies with only limited and gradual entry of Australian primary products
onto the US markets.
There is no demonstrable economic case which would
lead us to support this agreement while we remain concerned about:
plan and the resulting job losses, particularly in the car component sector and
future wealth through innovation by SME’ s at risk
companies with restrictions on preference for Australian firms
Australian production in pay TV and new media
implication for longer term increases in Government subsidy
threshold of $800m; and
they are listed as exceptions; in particular water, electricity and transport
which are not listed.
We note that the ALP is committed to
considering the outcomes of the Senate Inquiry which will be available on or
before the 12 August and welcome Mark Latham’s determination to consider
the evidence in the national interest.
ACTU Executive calls for ongoing
dialogue with the ALP on the basis of our concerns as listed.
Howard’s attempt to portray this trade agreement as essential to the US
Alliance is unacceptable and indeed not in Australia’s long term interest.
Australian jobs, intellectual property rights and government rights to
establish social and cultural guarantees are fundamental foundations for a
No trade deal should be accepted if these fundamentals