At CIS on April 27. Andrew Robb on Free Trade in the Age of Trump

100 Days On: Trump and Trade — The Impact of Neo-Protectionism on Australia.

The Hon. Andrew Robb will explain why free trade is in our national interest and why America’s turn towards protectionism under Trump is bad news for the Australian economy.

Approaching the 100 day mark of the Trump administration it is timely to remember that the biggest impact of President Trump on Australia probably remains his first executive order scrapping the Trans Pacific Free Trade Agreement.

As a small trading nation, Australia’s prosperity is threatened by the rise of neo-Protectionism both abroad and locally.

Andrew Robb, former Minister for Trade and Investment, has vast experience of free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China, as well as the 12 country Trans Pacific Free Trade Agreement. He negotiated Free Trade Agreements, investment roundtables and created Strategic Partnerships in our region and abroad.

100 Days On: Trump and Trade — The Impact of Neo-Protectionism on Australia will take place on Thursday, 27 April 2017 at The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 1, 131 Macquarie Street Sydney at 5.45 pm for a 6.00 pm start. More information here. It will also be livestreamed on the CIS Youtube channel.

UPDATE. The comments reminded me about this chapter on protection in Hancock’s great 1930 book Australia.

Protection in Australia has been more than a policy: it has been a faith and dogma. Its critics, during the second decade of the twentieth century, dwindled into a despised and detested sect suspected of nursing an anti-national heresy.

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7 Responses to At CIS on April 27. Andrew Robb on Free Trade in the Age of Trump

  1. rickw

    As a small trading nation, Australia’s prosperity is threatened by the rise of neo-Protectionism both abroad and locally.

    Australian standard of living was ranked second in the world at a time when import duties were the norm for all nations (protectionism) – circa 1900. Our standard of living is now ranked 16th or even lower in an era of free trade.

    The point is that neither free trade nor protectionism guarantee the wealth of a nation, the issue is whether or not you are making good trade deals and arrangements within the norms of the time.

    Clearly we are not doing well on a raft of fronts. If you are near the top of the heap at the start of the race then it takes some concerted failure to fall to 16th when you consider that much of Europe had to be rebuilt twice in the same period.

  2. .

    The point is that neither free trade nor protectionism guarantee the wealth of a nation, the issue is whether or not you are making good trade deals and arrangements within the norms of the time.

    You’re more likely to be prosperous with free trade. We only became protectionist after Federation. Up until WWI or even WWII, the total of external tariffs and internal tariffs on inter-household trade were probably lower.

    Protectionism has distorting effects but the size of government was so much lower the effect was dominant.

  3. Andrew

    Bullshit. The TPP was withdrawn by the Kenyan Administration because its Democrat nominee (can’t remember her name, Illary-something) opposed it and they presumed she would win.

  4. RobK

    Thanks Rafe,
    A good read.

  5. Stan

    The TPP was not a free trade agreement.

  6. mh

    You lost me at Andrew Robb.

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