Latham, Iraq and free trade deal (letter)by Robert BomNews Weekly
, August 14, 2004
Australians have much to fear from Mark Latham and his erratic behaviour. His anti-American rhetoric and his policy to pull the Australian troops out of Iraq before Christmas are disastrous. The troops pull-out will be a massive blow to the Alliance and the United Nations who are in Iraq to further the cause of democracy in that country. The move will advance the cause of terrorism.
That said, the existing trade balance between the US and Australia is already heavily in favour of the Americans. There is concern in Australia about the free trade deal over intellectual property rights, changes in cultural content on television, quarantine and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Agriculture has been left out in the cold. The Americans get 99 to 100 per cent access for their agricultural products to the Australian market (News Weekly
, July 31). But Australian agricultural exports to the US are subject to restrictions or left out of the agreement, as is the case with sugar. The agreement is a dud.
Mark, do a deal. Promise to leave the troops in Iraq, but get the Senate to vote down the US Free Trade Agreement and ask for re-negotiations to achieve a more honourable and balanced outcome. It may just save your and our bacon without upsetting the apple cart too much.Robert Bom,