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Australia is set to oppose the United States over its refusal to sign a new anti-nuclear treaty to ban the production of fissile material at an upcoming international conference.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in an interview that the US, while not opposed to the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, does not want to allow any verification mechanisms as part of the agreement, which Mr Downer said would render the pact “meaningless”.
He foreshadowed a showdown over the issue during the seventh review conference of the 35-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the United Nations Security Council in New York next month.
Mr Downer acknowledged that getting the agreement of countries for a fissile material treaty was “ambitious”, particularly faced with the US opposition.
“The problem is the Americans say: `Well we would be in favour of a treaty but we don't want any verification system.'
“Well, if you don't have any verification system, it runs the risk of making the treaty a bit meaningless.”
Do the Aussies export a lot of beef to the US? I would not have thought the US need to import beef.
I know it seems like a lot but 12billion is not that much.
Furthermore what control does the White House or Rummy have over where the US buys its beef?
US-Australia free trade deal: a dubious payoff for joining Iraq war
Some 60 United States officials are due to arrive in Australia this week for the first round of negotiations on a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, a deal that is widely regarded as a payoff for the Howard government’s unswerving support for the US-led assault on Iraq.
While both Washington and Canberra publicly deny any direct link between the FTA and the war, official documents indicate otherwise. Last November, in notifying the US Congress of the Bush administration’s intention to commence negotiations, US Trade Representative Bob Zoellick stated that an FTA would “strengthen the foundation of our security alliance”.
Zoellick continued: “We are already partners in the areas of intelligence, military inter-operability, command-and-control, and security planning. An FTA would facilitate the building of new networks that enhance our Pacific democracies’ mutual interests.”
Time to Strengthen U.S.-Australian Relations in Trade and Defense - Heritage Foundation
President George Bush recently announced that he will meet with Prime Minister John Howard of Australia on September 10 in Washington to discuss trade, regional security, and the future of U.S.-Australian relations. 1 Australia is one of America's most durable and dependable allies and an important trading partner. 2 Indeed, Americans and Australians have fought side by side in every major war of the last century. Although their defense alliance with New Zealand, the ANZUS Treaty, is marking its 50th anniversary this year, concerns about regional security are growing, and Australia is seeking a bilateral trade agreement with the United States.
Trade not only strengthens the economies of trading partners, but also enhances the defense and security ties of allies. In other words, promoting trade is both good economic policy and good foreign policy. A bilateral agreement should be promoted. Regarding security, Australia is one of America's most supportive allies. Strengthening the interoperability of U.S. and Australian forces to further buttress the alliance should be a policy objective. In addition, although the United States has not yet approached the Australian government about a direct involvement in its missile defense efforts, there may be a role for Australia to consider. The Bush Administration has signaled its desire to establish closer relations with Canberra, and the opportunity to do so is clearly at hand.
Australia and the ANZUS Crisis
The immediate retaliation was the cancellation of the ANZUS 'Sea Eagle' joint naval exercises, in which the Buchanan was to have been a participant.62 The US House Foreign Affairs Asian Subcommittee, headed by Representative Stephen Solarz, called for hearings on the ANZUS treaty.63 Senator William Cohen introduced a resolution to Congress calling for a cessation of American special trade and security benefits to New Zealand. The State Department acknowledged it was examining economic sanctions as a means of forcing a change in New Zealand's policy. Economic reprisals were eventually rejected, but 'certain categories of military intelligence' would no longer be available to New Zealand, and the administration would 'not argue New Zealand's case with fervour' when Congress examined special trade preferences in vital New Zealand export markets.
Most importantly, the various political perspectives begin to indicate the proportions that ANZUS took in the public debate-not just a security treaty, but with tendrils linking into issues of trade,cultural ties with the US, fears and memories of invasion, anti-Communism, anti-Americanism, the role of states, the joint facilities, and the health of the Western alliance.
U.S.-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
Members of the US Congress are urging President Bush to begin negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand. ... In the aftermath of September 11, New Zealand Prime Minister Clark quickly and firmly offered diplomatic, political, and military support. New Zealand is one of only two countries that has fought side-by-side with America in every war since World War I.
Even if it does, I am sure there are other markets who would take up the slack.