Get access

Australian Trade Policy Strategy Contradictions

Authors


Abstract

Australia’s Trade Policy Review by the WTO in 2011 was positive about Australia’s openness and its progress in removing residual barriers to trade. But it glosses over the fact that Australia’s current strategy of supporting the multilateral system while signing, negotiating and concluding preferential agreements is not consistent. The paper focuses on the question of Australia’s role in the multilateral system as it prosecutes preferential agreements, and examines ways of multilateralising some of those preferences, especially in a broader regional setting and under the WTO. One priority is to multilateralise the preferences in trade agreements – by reducing the MFN tariffs and extending the preferential access that some investment and services providers enjoy. Another priority is to get domestic regulations and reforms right so that there is no discrimination between foreign and domestic firms, let alone between foreign firms from different countries.

Ancillary