the aussie beef-cake and his travelling troupe...
Make no mistake, Japan is the big winner from the slight reduction in agricultural trade barriers announced with so much fanfare from the Prime Minister's captive travelling trade troupe. And that's a perfectly good and very desirable thing.
There's also a strong chance that much of the immediate advantage Australia should enjoy won't last long.
Other beef exporters will be hot on the heels of our most favoured nation status – stand by for American trade negotiators to target the Australian beef tariff level as they seek their own deal. They've never stopped working on a better deal for themselves.
The immediate reaction to the announcement of a handshake deal seems to be close to that which greeted Chamberlain's waved piece of paper on return from Munich.
But a little perspective can be healthy.
Yes, this is a positive agreement and certainly better than no agreement after many years of stalled horse (or beef and cheese) trading, but it's not going to deliver rural wealth in our times.
The world is far too competitive a place for that.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/trade-deal-japan-wins-and-why-thats-good-for-australia-20140408-36ach.html#ixzz2yHwL6d7r