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Journal of rob_au (1845)

Thursday October 23, 2003
04:56 PM

Free trade agreements

[ #15357 ]
With the visit of George W. Bush to Australia, there has been much talk of the specifics of a potential free trade agreement between Australia and the US. The top concerns of the Australian and US leaders appear to be agriculture and intellectual property respectively.

Whilst I can appreciate the importance of agriculture to Australian exporters, I must say that I do hold some concerns as to what rights relating to intellectual property will be traded by the Australian government in order to secure an advantageous position relating to agricultural trade - Over the past decades, too much of the research and development work carried out in Australia has been sold outright to overseas interests, unable to acquire commercialisation support locally. This situation has however been changing and there is a quite vibrant intellectual community in Australia coming up with some quite ingenious products. Australia may be a great agricultural exporter, but it has great potential to offer so much more - I would hate to see this segment of the Australia business and academic community loosing out or being hampered in their development effects as a result of this free trade agreement.

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