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Doug goes first. Alan
From: Doug Cameron
Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 13:22
To: Alan Oxley
Subject: Accountable negotiations
It seems to me that your position is a weakening
as each day passes! We now have Alan Wood, Economics
editor of The
Australian making the following observation
on the proposed USFTA:
The one crucial test is whether it will enhance
or damage what Vaile himself calls a very fragile global,
regional and domestic political consensus for free markets
and liberalised trade. An effective way of deciding
that would be to offer the final agreement, if there
is one, to the Productivity Commission or perhaps the
World Trade Organisation, for independent assessment.
The reason there is a fragile consensus on free markets
and liberalised trade is the secrecy, vested interests
and predominance of corporate rights over social and
community rights under the current free-trade regime.
I welcome the concept of an independent assessment
of the proposed USFTA; however in the AMWU submission
to DFAT we argue that the final assessment should be
that of the Australian Parliament.
We also argue for a process of accountability, openness
and transparency prior to and during the negotiating
process. It is my view that the secrecy and exclusion
of union and other civil society representatives on
issues such as the USFTA is undemocratic and unacceptable.
The AMWU has proposed a three-stage approach backed
Both Houses of Parliament should determine whether
to grant negotiating authority for a trade treaty.
Studies should be undertaken to determine the costs
and benefits of any proposal that may be negotiated
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