For the last 200 years the consensus among economists has been that free trade is largely positive.
People instinctively gravitate towards policies that are profitable and mutually beneficial. The Lowy Institute’s 2017 poll reported Australians recognise the benefits of globalisation and free trade:
Most Australians (78 per cent) believe globalisation is ‘mostly good’ for Australia, up 14 points since 2006. Two-thirds (67per cent) think free trade is good for both ‘[their] own standard of living’ and the ‘Australian economy’. Smaller majorities say free trade is good for ‘Australian companies’ (61 per cent) and for ‘creating jobs in Australia’ (55 per cent).
Similarly, a US Gallup poll in 2016 found 34 per cent of respondents saw free trade as a threat, while 58 per cent viewed it as an opportunity.
Here’s a snapshot of three connecting small businesses to an international marketplace.
The benefits of the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), were realised a mere 18 months after its inception for the Shaw family wine business. Based in Murrumbateman NSW, the Shaws showed their wines at the Australian Wine Grand Tasting in Seoul in September 2015. Here they won a contract with C&V International to exclusively distribute their wines throughout South Korea. This was only possible due to the removal of the wine tariff secured under KAFTA.
One of NSW’s largest processors and exporters of sheep meat and sheepskin, Fletcher International, increased its exports by 30 per cent since our FTA with Korea came into effect.
The people of Korea will also now be able to enjoy everyone’s favourite desserts, Sara Lee, after a 1.6 per cent tariff was dropped.