Ms. Iqra Khalid, a Muslim, pushes through anti-Islamophobia motion.
Breitbart, “Canadian Parliament Passes Controversial Islamophobia Motion”, 24 March 2017:
The Canadian House of Commons has passed motion M103 which singles out the criticism of Islam as a form of “Islamophobia”. Critics condemn it as an attack on free speech.
Motion M103 was tabled by Iqra Khalid, a Muslim member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party. It states the government must “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”, was taken to vote on Thursday evening where a total of 201 MPs voted for it and only 91 voted against, Canadian broadcaster Global News reports.
The text of the motion does not clarify what constitutes “Islamophobia” and has led many to speculate what that may mean in the future, with some critics fearing it could lead to Shariah law courts. This concern has led to the circulation of an anti-Shariah petition on the Parliament of Canada website, which has so far been signed by over 24,000 people.
Ms. Khalid, who was born in Pakistan and moved to the UK and then to Canada, said the definition of Islamophobia was: “The irrational hate of Muslims that leads to discrimination.”
When Conservatives asked her to remove Islamophobia from the motion, she said: “I will not do so, any more than I would speak to the Holocaust and not mention that the overwhelming majority of victims were six million followers of the Jewish faith and that anti-Semitism was the root cause of the Holocaust.”
Another part of the bill that has stirred controversy is the passage that asks the government to “recognise the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear”. It is currently unknown what measures the government will take to “quell” “hate and fear” as the motion is not classified as a law and has no effect on current criminal law.
The Conservative Party of Canada are currently holding leadership elections and many of the candidates have come out against M103 including one of the frontrunners, Quebecer Maxime Bernier. Mr. Bernier, a conservative with libertarian free market leanings, said he voted against the bill tweeting: “Free speech is the most fundamental right we have. I am opposed to #m103. Canadians should be treated equally regardless of religion.”
Visigrad Post, “Orbán: Brussels Must be Halted, and Hungary Must Stand Up Against International Capital”, 24 March 2017:
Hungary – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called March 15 an “indisputable proof” of the Hungarian nation’s past, present and future, at a commemoration of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight on Wednesday, March 15.
Speaking in front of the National Museum, the prime minister said that European nations are in a “state of revolt”, with the “winds of 48 blowing again on the continent”. Over the past years European nations once again revolted against “the hypocritical alliance of the Brussels bureaucrats, the liberal international media and the insatiable global capital,” Orbán said.
First the British, then the Americans rebelled, to be followed by others this year, he added. Orbán stressed the need for Brussels to take off the “masks of hypocrisy”, and opt for straight speech and an open discussion of the future.
Orbán emphasised that the resettlement of illegal migrants must be prevented, the network financed from foreign funds made transparent, and the right to regulate taxes, wages and utility prices kept in national competence.
Orbán called March 15 an “indisputable proof” of the Hungarian nation’s past, present and future. “We, living in the Carpathian Basin, at the buffer zone of cultures, empires and civilisations, can be proud of the greatest triumph of all, winning all wars for the survival of our homeland, our nation,” he said.
He said 1848 had become a “moral compass” for the nation, one that shows who is “loyal, patriotic, dedicated and brave” on the one hand, and exposes “pettiness, perfidy and efforts to kill dreams and destroy the nation” on the other. The prime minister insisted that national unity should be retained and cemented day by day.
“But what should we do with those who want unrest and division rather than peace and unity . whose only pleasure lies in spoiling the holiday of others,” he asked, referring to a group whistling during his speech. “It would be easy to mock them but we should not do that,” he said adding that Hungarians should “stand their ground on the horizon of building the nation rather than in the skirmishes of petty parties.”
“From the horizon of the Hungarian nation, one can choose the road that leads us to the wide gate of greatness or the one that leads to the swamp of hatred,” he said.
Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 23 March 2017 23:42.
Reuters, “Polish PM draws link between London attack and EU migrant policy”, 23 Mar 2017:
Poland’s prime minister drew a link on Thursday between an attack in London targeting the British parliament and the European Union’s migrant policy, saying the assault vindicated Warsaw’s refusal to take in refugees.
Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo holds a news conference at the end of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 10, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Five people, including the attacker, were killed and about 40 injured on Wednesday after a car ploughed into pedestrians near the British parliament. Police believe the attack was “Islamist-related”, but have given no details about the attacker, who they say was acting alone.
Poland’s right-wing, eurosceptic government has refused to accept any of the 6,200 migrants allocated to it under the European Union’s quota scheme that is designed to share the burden of taking in the large numbers of migrants and refugees who have come to Europe over the past two years.
“I hear in Europe very often: do not connect the migration policy with terrorism, but it is impossible not to connect them,” Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told private broadcaster TVN24.
Earlier this week the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, on a visit to Warsaw, warned member states against failing to host refugees to help alleviate pressure on frontline states bearing the brunt of arrivals across the Mediterranean.
“The commissioner should concentrate on what to do to avoid such acts as yesterday in London ... Poland will not succumb to blackmail such as that expressed by the commissioner,” Szydlo said.
“The commissioner is coming to Warsaw and trying to tell us: you have to do what the EU decided, you have to take these migrants .... Two days later another terrorist attack in London occurs,” she said.
The leader of Szydlo’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said back in 2015 that refugees could bring diseases and parasites to Poland, which is staunchly Roman Catholic and has very few Muslim immigrants.
The migrant issue is just one of several over which Poland is at odds with the EU.
Also on Thursday Szydlo said Poland might not accept a declaration EU leaders are due to endorse in Rome this month that will chart the bloc’s course after Britain leaves unless it addresses issues Warsaw considers crucial.
Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 23:59.
Breitbart, “EU Says They Can Force All Members, Including Poland, to Take Migrants”, 21 March 2017:
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Union’s commissioner for migration says there are ways to make all EU members states comply with the program of relocation of migrants among them.
Dimitris Avramopoulos made the statement Tuesday in Warsaw, where he is visiting the growing European border guard agency, Frontex.
Poland is refusing to accept migrants, arguing they are chiefly economic migrants, not war refugees, and may potentially pose a threat.
The relocation plan is intended to ease the pressure on countries that have taken the brunt of the migrant wave: Italy and Greece.
Without naming Poland, Avramopoulos said the EU has the “tools, the means and the power” to convince all members to comply and will make an assessment of response by the end of September. He mentioned no sanctions.
Since 1 November 2014 he is serving as EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship in the Juncker Commission.
Avramopoulos has a friendly relation with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since they were Mayors of Athens and Istanbul respectively. He is deemed one of the main proponents of Greek-Turkish rapprochement.
Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 04:54.
Reveal News, “White nationalist gets his money from cotton fields – and the government”, By Lance Williams 17 March 2017:
Two weeks after last year’s presidential election, white nationalist Richard Spencer held forth on a cable news show about how white people built America.
“White people ultimately don’t need other races in order to succeed,” he told the audience of the black-oriented program, “NewsOne Now.”
The exchange grew heated as host Roland Martin questioned Spencer’s rhetoric: Didn’t slaves help build America? Wasn’t the nation’s 19th-century economic boom propelled by the slave labor that produced the world’s cotton on Southern plantations?
America’s rise was “not through black people” and “has nothing to do with slavery,” Spencer retorted. “White people could have figured out another way to pick cotton,” he said. “We do it now.”
He is in a position to know. Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana, according to records examined by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The farms, controlled by multiple family-owned businesses, are worth millions: A 1,600-acre parcel sold for $4.3 million in 2012.
The Spencer family’s farms also are subsidized heavily by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in U.S. farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.
USDA farm subsidy payments to Spencer family companies, 2008-2015
Dickenhorst Farms $1,014,558
Spencer Farms $524,655
Dickenhorst Trust $201,460
Sher-Di-Je Land $165,029
Poor Richard Partnership $98,878
A-Renee Partnership $78,016
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group
Although Spencer has attracted extensive media attention as a leader of the so-called alt-right movement – particularly after he drew Nazi salutes at an event celebrating Donald Trump’s election – he never has explained publicly how he supports himself while actively promoting his agenda via conferences and media appearances. The finances of his nonprofit think tank, the National Policy Institute, are a mystery; the organization hasn’t filed a public report since 2013. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the IRS revoked the institute’s tax-exempt status.
Spencer, 38, is a dropout from a Duke University Ph.D. history program who emerged during the Trump campaign as one of the nation’s most visible white separatist agitators. In his writing, speeches and interviews, he has given an intellectualized explanation for how he came to advocate creating a whites-only “ethno state” in North America. While in graduate school, he has said, he was compelled by critiques of multiculturalism and political correctness and by demographic data indicating that whites are en route to minority status in the United States.
But the Spencer family’s business interests and geographic history suggest a different possible lineage for Richard Spencer’s racist politics. The family’s farm holdings are a legacy of its ties to the Jim Crow South, passed down by Spencer’s grandfather, who built the business during the turbulent civil rights era.
Spencer family land holdings in Louisiana
Farming company Parish Acreage
Dickenhorst Farms Tensas 1,888
Dickenhorst Farms East Carroll 967
Sher-Di-Je Land Tensas 1,186
A-Renee Partners Madison 753
Poor Richard Partnership Franklin 400
Spencer, Sherry Madison 90
Sources: Louisiana Tax Commission parish tax rolls; parish assessment records
Spencer declined in an interview this week to discuss how much money he personally receives from cotton farming and government subsidies and whether that income funds his political activities.
“I’m not involved in any direct day-to-day running of the business,” he said, later adding: “I’m going to navigate the world as it is, and I’m not going to be a pauper.”
One Spencer family farming company, which holds title to 400 acres of land, is called the Poor Richard Partnership.
In the interview, Spencer also downplayed his family’s influence on his political views, saying, “My parents are very mainstream Episcopalian Republicans in Dallas.”
Although Spencer grew up in an affluent neighborhood of Dallas and now splits his time between Montana and Washington, D.C., his family lived in the South for generations. Records show his mother attended segregated schools as a girl in the small northeast Louisiana city of Monroe. Later, Spencer’s mother inherited farms in northeast Louisiana from her late father. Today, her two children are her business partners.
Spencer’s mother did not respond to an email and voicemails seeking comment for this story. In the past, she has said she does not share her son’s views. In an open letter sent to their local newspaper in December, Spencer’s parents, Sherry and Rand, said that while they love their son, “we are not racists. We have never been racists. We do not endorse the idea of white nationalism.”
The region that is home to the Spencers’ farms has a history of slavery and racism. Through the civil rights era, the Klan targeted black residents there with lynchings, cross burnings and other violence. In Tensas Parish, where the Spencers own 3,000 acres of farmland, blacks didn’t win the right to vote until 1964, according to Elvadus Fields Jr., mayor of the town of St. Joseph.
White supremacist views typically run in the family, said writer and race relations expert Cleo Scott Brown. Feelings of racial superiority often are passed “from generation to generation, because that’s what they believe,” said Brown, whose father – a civil rights leader in East Carroll Parish, where the Spencers own 900 acres of farmland – was shot and wounded during a 1962 voter registration drive, allegedly by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Agribusiness in the region today is heavily mechanized and provides few jobs. In 2013, CNN reported that East Carroll Parish suffers from the worst income inequality in the nation: The richest 5 percent of residents earned an average of $611,000 per year, 90 times what the poorest 20 percent earned. The parish’s population is 67 percent black.
Ownership of Spencer family farming companies
Dickenhorst Farms Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister
Dickenhorst Trust Dickenhorst Farms (Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister)
Sher-Di-Je Land Dickenhorst Farms (Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister)
Spencer Farms Sherry Spencer
Poor Richard Partnership Sherry Spencer*
A-Renee Partners Sherry Spencer and daughter
*Records show that Richard Spencer has received subsidy income from the partnership but don’t identify him as an owner.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group; Louisiana secretary of state filings
Race relations have improved significantly in recent decades. But after Trump’s election, some white residents celebrated by draping their pickup trucks with Confederate flags and driving through the region’s towns, according to the Rev. Roosevelt Grant, head of the NAACP branch in Winnsboro, Franklin Parish, near another of the Spencers’ farms.
The Trump presidency, he said, “has caused people to pray more.”
Spencer’s maternal grandfather, Dr. R.W. Dickenhorst, established the family farming business. He was a radiologist who started a medical practice in Monroe in 1952 and became wealthy and socially prominent, according to local newspaper obituaries.
Racial segregation was a given in Monroe then. Blacks were barred from housing, schools and public facilities used by whites. White superiority “was the way of life; that was the way it was, and anyone challenging it was challenging God’s will,” said the Rev. Roosevelt Wright Jr., a local historian in Monroe.
Dickenhorst’s daughter, Sherry, who would grow up to be Richard Spencer’s mother, enrolled in all-white Neville High School in 1962, according to district records. In 1964, at the start of her junior year, integration of the school began, with a single African American student enrolling.
As Dickenhorst’s medical practice prospered, he bought farmland in northeast Louisiana on the Mississippi River’s west bank. He died decades later, in 2002, and his wife died the following year. By then, their only daughter was the wife of a wealthy Dallas eye surgeon and the mother of two grown children: Richard Spencer and his sister, who did not respond to an email and phone calls seeking comment.
Today, through Dickenhorst Farms and several related companies, Sherry Spencer, 68, and her two children jointly own most of the family farmland, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. Sherry Spencer is general partner of Dickenhorst Farms, and Richard Spencer and his sister are part owners, according to state and federal records. The family contracts out crop production to local farmers, a common practice in a region where corporations and absentee owners control much of the land.
The Spencer family’s farms are headquartered at a $3 million home in the ski town of Whitefish, Montana, where Sherry Spencer now lives. Also headquartered there: Richard Spencer’s think tank, his AltRight.com website and other white nationalist-related enterprises he controls, including a book publisher and web design outfit. Spencer also has lived in Whitefish in recent years – sometimes in his mother’s home, sometimes in a condominium she owns, according to documents and interviews.
The Spencers have received payments from two federal farm programs. One is the commodity subsidy program, intended to guarantee income for farmers who are helping to maintain supplies of certain crops deemed important by the government. The other is the conservation reserve program, which pays farmers for environmentally sound farming practices. Most of the $2 million paid to the Spencers has been in commodity subsidy payments for growing cotton.
Yet, Spencer has been bitterly critical of America and its government.
“This is a sick, disgusting society,” he declared in his speech at an alt-right gathering in Washington after the election, “run by the corrupt, defended by hysterics, drunk on self-hatred and degeneracy.”
Note: I have no necessary qualms with Spencer’s wealth (though ultimately, something like Bowery’s/ William Jennings Bryan’s progressive land taxation based on site value might be in order) nor do I have anything against his family’s alleged history of wanting to live separately from blacks. - DanielS
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turks living in Europe to have at least five children so that they can outbreed whites and take over the continent—and in that way become “the future of Europe.”
There are at least 7.8 million Turks in Europe, and very likely more who have become European citizens and are thus no longer counted as “Turks” by the deliberately race-denying liberal governments.
Erdogan made his call for the racial colonization of Europe by Turks while campaigning last week in the city of Eskisehir for a referendum that would usher in a presidential system and enhance his powers.
Erdogan’s comments were made in reaction to moves by the governments of Germany and the Netherlands to outlaw Turkish election meetings in those counties.
The Dutch government prevented a Turkish minister from addressing a crowd in Rotterdam, and later used water cannons to disperse Turkish demonstrators in the city after they turned violent.
On Friday, Erdogan told Turks in Europe that they must “Go live in better neighborhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses. Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you.”
Erdogan has also accused the Dutch government of state terrorism, acting like “Nazi remnants,” and having a “rotten” character.
In addition, Turkey’s interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, said last week that the EU was “playing games” to prevent Ankara from becoming strong, and that Turkey could send 15,000 “refugees” a month to Europe to “blow its mind.”
Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 18 March 2017 17:51.
Visigrad Post, “V. Orbán: “Hungary is in a State of Siege”, March 2017:
Hungary – Migrants are detained, police and army reinforced, and a second fence set up at the border. There is less talk of migrants arriving through the Balkans, yet Hungary is getting ready for a new wave. For Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Hungary is in a state of siege.
Hungary “shouldn’t risk changing the basic ethnic character of the country,” he recently reaffirmed during an intervention at the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, convinced that this would lead to a ” depreciation of its value “and to “chaos “.
“How to do this?” he asked. “First, by preserving ethnic homogeneity. One can say such things now, which you would have been executed for during the past few years, as life has proven that too much mixing causes trouble,” he said.
However, the Hungarian Prime Minister is not opposed to immigration, despite everything. And he is even more in favor of immigration — if it comes from Europe. Whether it is Ukrainian from the Eastern part of the country, or Westerners in Budapest. His recent remarks inviting with a note of sarcasm the Western refugees in Hungary did not pass unnoticed.
On the other hand, Viktor Orbán is firmer than ever on non-European immigration, and in particular illegal immigration.
Hungary in a state of siege
The border barrier, erected during the summer of 2015, is being reinforced by a second fence. Equipped with various electronic devices to improve the surveillance and reactivity of the territorial protection forces, this second barrier should make the border impermeable. This is at least what the Hungarian government hopes, fearing a new wave of migrants.
“We can not take it easy, now we are also in a state of siege, and even if the migratory wave has diminished, it has not stopped,” said Prime Minister Orbán in front of new police recruits who took the oath to defend Hungary at the risk of their lives, if necessary.
For the strong man of Budapest, security is the precondition for Hungary and Europe to have a bright future. Security, and the rule of law.
“Laws must apply equally for everyone, also for those migrants who come here, and no kind of foolish human rights mumbo jumbo can overwrite this.”
“Immigration is the Trojan horse of terrorism,” recalled Mr Orbán. “We can not count on Brussels and on the European Union. They only make the task harder for us. We can only rely on ourselves,” he said in front of the young recruits of the border hunters.
New treatments of migrants
Hungary has also taken it upon herself to openly contravene certain international conventions, as evidenced by criticism from the EU and the UN. But this is fully assumed.
Henceforth, Hungary systematically expells any clandestine intercepted on her soil. Their return to Serbia is automatic. Asylum seekers are now detained in closed centers, where they are housed in containers, in order to prevent fraudsters from using this procedure only to enter the EU and then to continue their illegal journey, as did almost unanimously the “asylum seekers”.
Meanwhile, the globalist press is trying to pass off the Hungarian guards as sadistic and malicious torturers, using “proof” like photos and testimonies of migrants in Serbia. But this new, unfounded and disproportionate attack will not affect the government, strongly supported by the Hungarian population on the issue of migration.
According to Viktor Orbán, Hungary is today one of the safest countries in Europe. And he intends to preserve this asset in order to lead the country towards the economic revolution he intends to undertake.
Among many other colourful characters, Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments
include two protectionist and anti-China hardliners, Robert Lighthizer
and Peter Navarro, who sit at the helm of US trade and industry policy.
That decision confirms a belligerent change of tack in Sino–American
economic relations. But what are the implications for Australia?
A number of monetary economists, including
Saul Eslake, have warned that a potential escalation to a full-blown
China–US trade war poses the single biggest economic threat to Australia.
That position argues that the already struggling global economy can’t
face a superpower trade war, likely to be triggered by the Trump
administration at the monetary level, when the RMB/USD exchange rate
will reach the unprecedented level of 7 to 1 (it’s currently sitting at
around 6.9). Furthermore, a falling Chinese currency combined with
protectionist measures in the US will dampen the Chinese economy by way
of reduced volumes of exports and higher interest rates that will
spread across the Asia–Pacific. According to such reasoning, that could
have negative impacts for Australia’s economy; prices for iron ore,
coal and natural gas could possibly drop—we’ll know by the middle of
However, it’s questionable that such crisis would be
detrimental to Australia. In fact, focusing on monetary dynamics alone
fails to capture the role of industrial production and regulatory
arrangements in the global supply chain.
On the contrary, after triangulating the trade and
industrial data of the US, China and Australia and considering the
current trade regulatory framework, there are substantial reasons to
argue that Australia is well placed to fill the gaps left by a wrecked
US–China trade relationship at the best of its industrial capacity.
Australia is indeed one of a handful of countries to have solid free
trade agreements in place with both the US and China.
Australia’s rocks and crops economy—in particular the
growing productivity potential of its agricultural and mining sectors—is strong enough to
rise above global monetary tensions and falling commodity prices,
thanks to rising export volumes to both the US and China. It appears
that the harder the two superpowers use their trade relations as
leverage in their strategic competition, the harder they’ll need to
look for other sources to sustain their industrial production levels
and corporate supply chain.
In a trade war scenario, the possible initial hiccups in the
global supply chain will likely be short-lived. In fact, let’s consider
that about half of US imports are estimated to be made of intra-firm trade, and that
protectionist measures from abroad tend to have insignificant effects
on the production input of Chinese State-owned firms.
Thus, multinational corporations are proven to be particularly adept at
quickly replacing the flows of
their industrial production and distribution, as is shown by history.
In other words, in the event of a Sino–American crisis, the
major trading actors in both countries will be able and willing to
promptly move their business somewhere else.
Thanks to the existing spaghetti bowl of international
economic partnerships, Australia is in prime position to be this
“somewhere else” for both countries. In fact, Australia is the second
largest economy and Sino–American trading partner of the only six
countries that have in place free trade agreements with both the US and China, including South Korea,
Singapore, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.
The LNG example clearly shows that Australia’s economy would
benefit from a contained US–China trade crisis. Nevertheless, should
that trade crisis escalate beyond the economy, Australia’s luck may run
The Chinese leadership doesn’t hide the fact that promoting
international economic integration outside of the US control serves the
purpose of carving greater geopolitical autonomy and
flexibility in the global decision-making processes. Beside
Trump’s trade policy, Xi Jinping’s diplomatic strategy may also speed
up the end of the US–China detente initiated by Nixon and Kissinger in
the 1970s. It remains to be seen whether China will also
pursue hard-line policies to push the US outside of the Asia–Pacific.
In that instance, Australia would be caught between a rock and
a hard place.
If the US–China trade war were to escalate to the
geopolitical level, the American order in the Asia–Pacific would enter
uncharted waters. For one thing, such an unsavoury development may
compel Australia to make a clear choice between trading with China and
preserving America’s security patronage.
Giovanni Di Lieto lectures International Trade Law
at Monash University.
One of the most interesting things about all this is that
while Australia is going to be compelled to make that choice, the
choice has essentially already been made through the pattern
of trade relationships which Australian politicians have chosen to
The only way that Australia would choose the United States in
that scenario, would be if Australians decided that they would like to
deliberately take a massive economic dive so that they can ‘Make
America Great Again’ even though that is not their country, and so that
they can avoid being called ‘anti-White’ by the legions of anonymous
Alt-Right trolls roaming around on Twitter using Robert Whitacker’s
‘mantra’ on anyone who won’t support the geostrategic and geoeconomic
intertests of the United States, the Russian Federation, and Exxonmobil
Given that we know that Australians don’t care about America
or Russia more than they care about the economic prosperity of their
own country, the outcome is already baked into the cake. AFR
carried an article last year which can be used to forecast what is
likely to happen, and I’ll quote it in full here now:
It has lifted living standards, grown Australia’s economy
and created thousands of jobs.
While it is becoming more popular to denounce globalisation
and flirt with protectionism, we cannot turn our back on free trade.
Australia’s economy has withstood global challenges and
recorded 25 years of continuous growth because we’re open to the world.
Since Australia’s trade barriers came down, we’ve
reaped the rewards.
Trade liberalisation has lifted the income of
households by around $4500 a year and boosted the country’s gross
domestic product by 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, creating thousands of
One in five jobs now involve trade-related activities. This
will grow as liberalised trade gives our producers, manufacturers and
services providers better access to billions of consumers across the
globe, not just the 24 million who call Australia home.
However, not everyone sees the value of free trade. Some see
it, and the forces of globalisation, as a threat to their standard of
living, rather than an opportunity to improve it.
When it comes to free trade, we often hear about the bad but
not the good.
The nature of news means the factory closing gets more
coverage than the one opening.
Chances are you heard about the Ford plant closing, but not
the $800 million Boeing has invested in Australia and the 1200 people
who work at their Port Melbourne facility.
You may have heard about Cubbie Station, but not heard that
its purchase staved off bankruptcy, and has since seen millions of
dollars invested in upgrades of water-saving infrastructure, a doubling
of contractors, more workers, and of course, money put into the local
economy supporting jobs and local businesses.
Key to attracting investment, jobs
The free trade agreements the Coalition
concluded with the North Asian powerhouse economies of China, Japan and
Korea are key to attracting investment and creating more local jobs.
The Weilong Grape Wine Company has said the China-Australia
Free Trade Agreement is the reason it’s planning to build a new plant
This is a story being played out across the country.
Businesses large and small, rural and urban,
are taking advantage of the preferential market access the FTAs offer
Aussie businesses into the giant, growing markets of North Asia.
Australian Honey Products is building a new factory in
Tasmania to meet the demand the trifecta of FTAs has created.
Owner Lindsay Bourke says the free trade agreements have
been “wonderful” for his business. “We know that we are going
to grow and it’s enabled us to employ more people, more local
people,” he said.
It is the same story for NSW skincare manufacturer Cherub
Rubs, who will have to double the size of their factory. “The free
trade agreements with China and Korea really mean an expansion, which
means new Australian jobs manufacturing high-quality products,” said
Cherub CEO John Lamont.
It is easy to see why the three North Asian FTAs are
forecast to create 7,900 jobs this year, according to modelling
conducted by the Centre for International Economics.
Australia has a good story when it comes to free trade. In
the past three years, net exports accounted for more than half of
Australia’s GDP growth.
Exports remain central to sustaining growth
and economic prosperity. Last year exports delivered $316 billion to
our economy, representing around 19 per cent of GDP.
This underscores the importance of free trade
and why it is a key element of the Turnbull Government’s national
The Coalition is pursuing an ambitious trade
agenda, and more free trade agreements, to ensure our economy keeps
growing and creating new jobs.
On Friday I arrive in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting.
Free trade will be at front of everyone’s mind.
With the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
looking grim, my ministerial counterparts and I will work to conclude a
study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which sets
out agreed actions towards a future free trade zone.
We will also work to finalise a services road map, which
will help grow Australian services exports in key markets including
education, finance and logistics.
More to be done
The Coalition has achieved a lot when it comes to free
trade, but there is more to do.
Momentum is building for concluding a free trade agreement
with Indonesia, work towards launching free trade agreement
negotiations with the European Union continues, we’ve
established a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out
the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA
and we’re continuing to negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP), which brings together 16 countries that account for
almost half of the world’s population.
The Turnbull government will continue to pursue an ambitious
free trade agenda to keep our economy growing and creating more jobs.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continues to build
the case for Labor’s embrace of more protectionist policies, claiming
he will learn the lessons of the US election where it featured heavily.
What Labor doesn’t say though is that by adopting a closed
economy mindset, they will close off the investment and jobs flowing
from free trade. They’re saying no to Boeing’s $800 million investment
in Australia and the Cubbie Station improvements; they’re saying no to
businesses like Cherub Rubs and Australian Honey Products building new
factories and the many local jobs they will create.
Steven Ciobo is the Minister for Trade, Tourism
What’s not to love about all this?
I really think I love Anglo-Saxons. This is going to be fun,
When Mr. Ciobo spoke of ‘a working group with the
United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious
and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA’, he was not joking. That
is happening and it is likely going to be another
window that the UK will have into the formation of both RCEP and FTAAP,
even though technically the UK is not physically in the Indo-Asian
I have also written an article today called, ‘US
Government to build American competitiveness atop socio-economic
retrogression and misery.’ It’s crucial to understand that
time is of the essence, since the Americans are at the present moment
in relative disarray compared to the rest of us. The Americans have not
yet tamed and pacified the various economic actors in their own
country, they are still working on that, and they also have yet to form
a coherent internationalist counter-narrative to the one that is being
enunciated by the governments of Britain, Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and so on.
Some of you may be mystified by that statement. What do I mean
that the Americans don’t have a coherent ‘internationalist
counter-narrative’? I mean that while they are capable of explaining
and rationalising their own position as a narrowly ‘America first’
position in a way that is pleasing to Americans,
they are not able to export that view to regular
people anywhere else in a way that would induce
any other European-demography country to comply with America’s
After all, if the Alt-Right people are going to careen all
over the internet essentially screaming, “put America first ahead of
your own country’s interests or be accused of White genocide”, and
alternately equally absurdly, “you’re an evil Russophobe who supports
White genocide if you invested in BP instead of Exxon”, then they
should not expect that they are going to win the sympathy of anyone who
is neither American nor Russian.
I want to say to British people, to Australians, to New
Zealanders, to Canadians, Commonwealth citizens in general, that you
know, it’s been a long time since you’ve taken your own side.
This coming phase is going to be a time when it will become possible to
do precisely that.
The time is fast approaching when it will be possible to
choose neither America nor Russia. You’ll be able
to finally choose yourselves and your own geoeconomic interests, and
you’ll be able to choose to trade and associate with whoever else in
the world you want to trade and associate with.
Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.