Indigenous Australians and the Australia- United States free trade agreement

University of New South Wales
Publication Type:
Journal article
Davis Megan 2004, 'Indigenous Australia and the Australia- United States free trade agreement', UNSW, vol. 5, no. 30, pp. 1-7.
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From the outset the potential for a free trade agreement with the United States resulted in intense media speculation and political lobbying by predominantly business and industry groups as well as community groups and Opposition parties to ensure that the Australian Government negotiated a fair deal that reflects their interests. On 8 February 2004, Australia announced it had finalised negotiations with the United States (US FTA)[1] In the wake of the text's belated release, public commentary is divided between those who argue the agreement can only be beneficial for Australia's economy and those who argue that it weakens Australian citizens' rights, diminishes Australian sovereignty or that the gains will be insignificant.[2] Yet a notable absence from the media coverage has been an Indigenous voice. In particular the absence of any ATSIS/ ATSIC voice should be of concern to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This article explores what constitutes a free trade agreement and what relevance the US FTA is to Indigenous Australia.
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