T1 and T2 have both been quick off the mark in blogging about the just-announced Australia/US Free Trade Agreement. T1 is predictably laudatory (“It ain’t perfect, but it’s an improvement“), and merely copies and pastes the Australian’s dot point summary of the main features of the deal.
Personally, I’ll be deferring judgment until I have time to read more of the detail, and the range of expert analyses that will certainly be published over the next few days. You can find the Fairfax and Murdoch press summaries of the main features of the FTA here and here.
Update – John Quiggin also has a post. It doesn’t say very much, but the comment box contributions are well worth reading. Kim Weatherall suggests that Howard/Vaile seem to have sold out on IP/copyright issues (which should be very disturbing to all genuine libertarians as opposed to uncritical conservative Howard-boosters like T1), while Geoff Honnor (who apparently actually is still alive – I was starting to wonder) argues that, at least on first analysis, concessions on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme appear minimal and shouldn’t worry us too much.
Update 2 – Sarah Strasser at Catallaxy has a more extensive discussion of the IP/copyright aspects of the FTA, as well as a briefer mention of the competition law implications. The latter may potentially be a more positive aspect of the FTA, given that US competition/anti-trust laws are significantly superior in some respects than Australia’s.
Update 3 – Peter Gallagher (a blogger I hadn’t known about until now) has the best (or at least most apparently balanced) overview of the FTA and its likely impact that I’ve seen so far. Peter, I’ll add you to the blogroll when I get the time and energy to update it.