Reader Peter Frank recommends this Spiegel analysis of the proposed US-EU free trade agreement, which contains estimates that such a deal would cost Australia 52,000 jobs and result in 7.4% decline in Australia's per capita income. Peter writes:
Interesting analysis of impacts of EU/US free trade agreement; not in the least in terms of the anticipated negative impact on Australia. Underlines the tragic shortsightedness of Australian trade policy over past decade.
Hopefully this looming threat will force a reassessment of our global priorities and perhaps even lead to resumption of trade negotiations with the EU, though given the coalition's track record I have my doubts. With the honourable exception of Paul Keating, our prime ministers have consistently preferred London (and Washington) to Brussels, Berlin, Paris, etc. Based on his performance to date it seems unlikely Tony Abbott will be any different.
None of the above suggest that Australia's primary focus should not remain on Asia Pacific but with the winding down of the resources boom we desperately need to diversify our trade activities.