Letter: Free trade challengeby Robert BomNews Weekly
, October 20, 2001
On a nationally screened TV panel program conducted at Rockhampton, the issues of recent corporate collapses and deregulation policies in Australia were raised.
A member of the panel, the ALP's Federal Member for Lilley, Mr Wayne Swan, advocated more regulation, not less. He said that "Competition policy was off the rails".
In press statements some weeks ago, the Deputy Opposition Leader Simon Crean and the Treasurer Peter Costello spoke as one voice in agreement on the need for free trade policies.
Do we construe Crean's comments as the official ALP party line?
To me a "Free Trade" agreement with the US or any other country is an extension of competition policy, and it is just another expression for deregulation, only on an international scale.
Could we perhaps have some clarity from the Labor Party on where it stands? Will it follow up on Wayne Swan's call for regulation? Or will the Labor Party blithely pursue the Coalition's headlong rush into free trade agreements on its path to further deregulation?Robert Bom