There is growing support for diversifying Australia’s economic ties with China in order to reduce the risks of economic coercion. The main bilateral economic ties are through exports, imports and investment. Australia’s risks of economic coercion from China mainly come via exports. China buys 33
When the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry surveyed its members last year about their use of trade agreements, the ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement surprisingly emerged as the third best known and used of 14 available trade concession frameworks.
So, it is appropriate
The 1980s Hope inquiry first put economics on the agenda of Australian intelligence analysis but the latest Intelligence Review has taken this connection much further.
Follow the money and three trends emerge from this Review, important developments that have been lost in all the
The Peterson Institute in Washington has published a report on the international trade policies enunciated by the two US presidential candidates during their campaigns. Its conclusion:
Clinton's proposed trade and international economic policies would damage American well-being, primarily but not
Last month the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) secretary, Peter Varghese, had this to say about Australia’s participation in the global movement toward preferential free trade agreements (FTAs):
To not participate would carry with it a significant potential opportunity cost, as
Now that the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been agreed, the participant countries have to decide whether to ratify the deal. In assessing the benefits, where might we turn for guidance on the economics?
First thoughts might go to David Ricardo, father of one of the few ideas
Treasurer Scott Morrison has rejected the proposed sale of the Kidman cattle properties to foreign interests:
Given the size and significance of the total portfolio of Kidman properties along with the national security issues around access to the WPA (Woomera Protected Area), I have determined,
With the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) finally revealed, commentators, specialists and interest-groups can immerse themselves in the 6000 pages (with important side-letters still to come) of the agreement. But the nature of the discussion will change now that the negotiation is
As the fastest growing economy in Asia, many countries are vying for India's attention. India's understaffed Ministry of External Affairs is constantly grappling with the demands of foreign governments for meetings with senior Indian leaders.
There is no doubt Australian leaders have to work harder
The negotiators have finally reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The US Congress might yet be a stumbling block, but the many US interest groups which stand to benefit will influence that outcome. Other TPP countries have to get legislative approval too.
Richard Woolcott recently called for 'a much more sustained conversation with our neighbouring countries in Asia and the south-west Pacific' ('The Turnbull era: Eight Ideas for Fine-Tuning Australian Foreign Policy') and suggested some ways to achieve it, including: greater engagement with
After marathon talks, the Trans Pacific Partnership has been sealed. The stage is now set for some fantastic battles to get this through national legislatures. I'll leave it to others to count the numbers.
I've written previously about my concerns regarding the TPP, and agreements like it. I won't
The pace of decision-making on Australian submarines is quickening, with the core of the current debate driven exclusively by South Australian politics. But the insistent voices of regional and industry lobbyist need to be balanced by reminders of the price the rest of Australia will pay for make-
Scott Morrison, widely expected to be appointed Australia's new treasurer early next week, can't change the world. Or at least not over the next year or so. But he can reinterpret it, and that's sometimes as much as a treasurer can do.
He should and probably will promptly cancel whatever
By Ron Walker, currently a visiting fellow at the Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy at ANU. Ron is a former DFAT officer who worked for 20 years in Australia's nuclear diplomacy. Among the positions he occupied were the first Head of the Nuclear Safeguards Branch and Chairman of the Board of
Growth is certainly slower and its structure is changing, but is the outlook for China's economy quite as awful as global share markets seem to think?
Now the world's biggest economy (using the IMF's purchasing power parity measure), China matters vastly more for world markets than it did a
In terms of the world's financial markets, China is the centre of attention. Last week I argued that concerns about stock markets and exchange rate devaluations were minor and ephemeral issues. Attention should instead be on the longer-term challenges that China faces in keeping its growth rate
A month ago, international trade was in the headlines. President Obama had just obtained Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and in Australia, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was signed. But then all went quiet.
Trade Minister Andrew Robb.
Now that Congress has provided President Obama with Trade Promotion Authority as we enter the last phase of the TPP negotiations, the treaty seems likely to go ahead. What is left for Australian authorities to think about?
While the TPP draft will come before the Australian parliament for
President Barack Obama finally has authority from the US Congress for advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a signature foreign policy of his final term in office. The TPP aims to establish a free trade zone around the Pacific Rim covering 40% of the global economy, while excluding China
By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Phillipa Brant, Research Associate.
The Pacific Islands region has been spared any serious impact from cuts to the Australian aid program revealed in budget documents released yesterday.
Australia's bilateral program
One aspect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that has come under criticism is the lack of transparency in the negotiating process. Could a more transparent model be used for these kinds of negotiations?
In other areas of official decision-making, recent decades have seen a big shift towards
When the economy is going well, we talk about the bright future. Why is it only when it is going bust that we look to the past?
The Economist recently published an interesting article on the resurgence of economic history after the global financial crisis. No-one who reads about the international
The Australian Treasury has been busy. On top of its usual output, the last 18 months have included the Financial System Inquiry, hosting the G20, the 2015 Intergenerational Report and the tax white paper. All this while eliminating one-third of its workforce!
But today I'd like to focus on the
Can tax laws keep up with globally operating businesses and constant technological change? This is a fundamental challenge confronting governments.
It is also the reason tax is getting a lot of attention in the Australian media, particularly coverage of the Senate inquiry into corporate tax
Bruno Mascitelli is editor of the newly released The Austrade Story: Export and Investment Facilitation Under the Microscope.
The Australian Trade Commission, or Austrade as it is commonly known, turns 30 in 2016.
It came into existence in 1986 as a statutory government agency for export promotion
Earlier posts have discussed how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – if it comes into force – will be part of the process of setting global rules across a wide range of issues, including intellectual property rights. The just-released Harper Competition Policy Review notes the importance
The Abbott Government will shortly release a discussion paper on the Australian tax system. It will be the first step towards the much anticipated tax white paper. International factors should figure prominently in the white paper — specifically, how to ensure that Australia has a resilient tax
The 2008 global financial crisis provided a rare test-bed for macroeconomics — an opportunity to sort out some old controversies. One issue dominated the debate during the recovery phase: with national budgets and official debt pushed up by the crisis, should budget austerity be imposed as a
Should Australia join the Chinese-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)? As often happens in international affairs, the answer is not found in the technical pros and cons of the proposal, but in the politics.
America seems to have strongly encouraged its close Asian friends (Japan
We live in strange economic times. Depositors in Denmark are paying interest to their banks and borrowers are being paid when they take out a loan. The basic principles of finance have been turned on their head.
One commentator has noted that 'something economists thought was impossible is
To everyone's surprise, it was announced on Monday that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop intends to travel to Tehran in April 2015. The visit isn't about the nuclear negotiations with Iran. After all, while Australia would rather not see Iran go nuclear, it isn't exactly a foreign policy
A recent report by PwC, The World in 2050, suggests that Australia could slip from 19th largest economy in the world in 2014 to 28th in 2050.
The report comes from the UK and contains economic growth projections to 2050 for the 32 largest economies. Not surprisingly, the main interest in the
The European Central Bank has finally begun to engage in quantitative easing. The euro depreciated on the news, which is good for the Europeans but bad for the rest of the world, right? It's another currency war – a zero sum game leading to, at best, nothing but debased currencies . At least that'
Is this a silly question to ask, given the reported low taxes paid by Google, Apple, Yahoo, Starbucks and others? The G20 and OECD think there is a major problem and have launched an Action Plan to combat 'base erosion and profit shifting' (BEPS).
But many of the submissions to the Australian
The plunge in the global oil price is a hot topic. Between June 2014 and January 2015, the price of crude has dropped by 57%. Most of the attention has been on the boon for consumers, with a litre of petrol in some parts of Australia now counted in cents, not dollars.
But while Australia is
One of the most striking aspects of the final report from the Australian Financial System Inquiry (AFSI), chaired by David Murray, is the proposal that the future capital requirements for Australian banks should be linked to international developments rather than domestic circumstances.
A few weeks ago Sam Roggeveen quoted PayPal founder Peter Thiel, who argued that competition is over-rated and monopoly would enhance innovation. We shouldn't be surprised that business people are in favour of monopoly. In 1776 Adam Smith observed:
People of the same trade seldom meet together,
Overnight, the European Central Bank once again opted for timidity, with interest rates remaining unchanged. The scale of the deflationary threat Europe faces is awesome. However, with no appetite to engage in quantitative easing, I fear that the bank is not willing to do 'whatever it takes' to save
Senior economic policy makers, economic analysts, academics and commentators have been concerned about the daunting challenge of structural and budget adjustment facing Australia due to the decline in mineral prices from the levels reached in the boom period of 2003-04 to 2011-12.
In Beyond the
In a paper published recently on the Minerals Council of Australia website, Adelaide-based economist Jonathan Pincus takes issue with some of the calculations I make in my Lowy Institute Paper Beyond the Boom. He makes a number of criticisms, but the big one is of my estimate of the income gain from
The APEC Leaders' Meeting underway in Beijing seems to be finessing the various conflicting and overlapping trade initiatives and avoiding serious damage. But it is not resolving any of the underlying tensions.
At the multilateral level, the WTO remains in limbo after India pulled the rug out
In a new Lowy Institute Analysis launched today, Nicholas Humphries, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Fellow at the Lowy Institute, examines how Customs can increase Australia's trade competitiveness at a time when goods and services are increasingly produced across borders in
With other international institutions reiterating their forecasts of declining growth in the emerging economies, the latest Asian Development Bank Outlook Update has a more positive view, at least those in our region. Not only are they sustaining a 6%-plus growth rate, but trade integration