Chile free trade agreement angers cherry growers

ABC Rural, August, 2007

Australian cherry growers have joined a chorus of complaints over the Federal Government's decision to pursue a free trade agreement with Chile.

As their biggest competitor, growers say Chile will squeeze them further out of the international market.

The Australian Cherry Growers Association's Ian Hay says it is an insensitive decision by Trade Minister Warren Truss, which will seriously harm the horticulture sector.

"Chile [is] our biggest competitor within our own time zone," he said.

"Their fruit ripens when ours does, it has huge American dollars behind it.

"We can't work out the driver behind it."

More: ABC

Err, maybe that's because there is no driver. All the bureaucrats have this shared belief that globalisation is going somewhere better, but is anybody actually driving apart from China, India, etc? Go on, stuff-up another industry.

I think Hugh Fitzgerald sees it clearly:

"While America dithered, and still does, in Iraq, China established economic colonies everywhere, from New York to Belize to West Africa to Italy, and is steadily driving whatever local competition remained, from the silk manufacturers of Como to the makers of pottery in Mexico, into non-existence -- while the Administration keeps singing the praises of "free trade" and Nafta, as the free-market fundamentalists they are."

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