Why JRE Supports Free Trade

Japan and Australia are starting to discuss launching a preliminary investigation into the conceptualisation process of a Free Trade Agreement.
There are plenty of issues to work through – most notably agriculture. We already export rice and Wagyu beef to Japan, because it’s cheaper to produce it over here and ship it back to Japan than it is to grow the rice or beef over there. Japanese farmers are not happy about the prospect of being muscled out by cheap Australian food.
But whether or not agriculture is included in the FTA (it doesn’t look likely), there’s one reason why this agreement must go through. If it doesn’t go through, Australian consumers will be unfairly deprived of subminiature notebook computers, one-terabyte set-top boxes, and top-of-the-line portable game systems.

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2 Responses to Why JRE Supports Free Trade

  1. Ryan Kelly says:

    Hear hear. Let’s just not import any oddball laws that we arent equiped to deal with, ala the USFTA.
    Funny you should mention Australian rice. I’m lead to beleive that rice production is one of the most destructive farming practises in Australia today – so much so that my otherwise very proud-to-buy-Australian-made girlfriend refuses to buy Australian grown rice. Will be interesting to watch…

  2. Josh says:

    What you’ve heard about rice farming is probably not far off the mark.
    Ricegrowing uses massive quantities of water – the rice field has to be flooded a few inches deep – but the profit margins on rice are so high that people are growing it even in dry areas. This squeezes the supply of water for other crops – driving up the price and cutting the quantity available.
    We had a few ricegrowers around where I grew up. I don’t recall any environmental problems, but every year, the local water market ran into supply problems because of the demand for water to grow rice. I don’t know if it’s destructive or not, but there are definitely some parts of the country where you just shouldn’t grow rice.

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