Australia’s agricultural prosperity depends on exports. Global trade liberalisation is crucial for Australian farmers.
There are two ways of reducing agricultural trade barriers. First, the ponderous multilateral Doha round of trade negotiations. Second, bilateral trade agreements, which are currently growing rapidly. In this study, we evaluate bilateral trade agreements as a route to more liberal trade.
Bilateral trade agreements are controversial, a controversy that cannot be resolved easily. So, we pose the question: what can be done to ensure bilateral agreements — which are sure to take place anyway — are more likely to be beneficial? In answer, we provide a checklist of ten actions to enhance the good aspects of bilateral trade agreements and minimise the bad.
This publication is one in a series on trade issue published by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) as part of their Global Competitiveness R&D program. Previous reports in this series and additional copies of this publication may be obtained from RIRDC by visiting their website (www.rirdc.gov.au).