THE ‘CHINA ADVANTAGE’ WHAT PRICE A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH CHINA?
Free trade advocates have promised more jobs, better-paid jobs and better living standards. However, free trade theory has failed to deliver. For example, it has been estimated that three trade agreements signed by Australia could have cost up to 26,000 jobs.1 Despite these failures, free trade advocates want Australia to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
This paper discusses the stark danger that a FTA with China would pose, threatening the foundations and long-term performance of the Australian economy. It argues that a number of key issues must be addressed before Australia even contemplates entering into a FTA with China.
The first section of the paper – The decline of manufacturing in Australia – examines the importance of the manufacturing industry to the Australian economy. It also discusses the decline of that industry in recent years in the context of Australia’s trade policy.DOWNLOAD