Abbott’s KAFTA Free Trade with South Korea starting to fire up

In Australia, the Liberal and Labor ruling classes are embracing Free Trade with the two-bit Third World with missionary zeal.

Korean products are already making their mark.

Free Trade with KoreaLow Cost Samsung products are so cheap they are dangerously catching fire!


So who is really gaining?  A few Aussie corporate exporters, or many Korean importers to Australia?

Who is losing out?  Australian workers and Australian industry who can’t compete with two-bit Korean imports?

Abbott has lost his Catholic god for Neoliberal Globalisation.  Not Scientology. It’s more planning life after politics by leveraging favours to multinationals one thinks will be nice to work for later on.    It’s following the Nationals lead like Andrew Stoner, Peter Ryan and Brendon Grylls and John Anderson.  All nicely recruited by mining corporations on top of their polly pensions.

Australian PM Tony Abbott’s Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) was signed on 8 April 2014 in Seoul by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and his Korean counterpart, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy, Minister Yoon Sang-jick (his real name).

Labor’s Kevin Rudd kicked it off in 2008 during one of his Asian junkets, so arguably Abbott has just signed another Rudd deal.  But the secret details of the agreement extend to 1800 pages and the devil is certain to be in the detail.

An example is the compulsory mechanism of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions – that is foreign corporations able to legally sue Australia if they feel they aren’t getting a good enough deal. Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has said, “..with the inclusion of the controversial ISDS clauses, the Government has put the profits of the powerful corporations ahead of people. This Free Trade Deal is designed to supercharge coal and gas exports to Korea by multi-national corporations at the expense of local industries and local communities.”

Too right Wishy!

Even Australia’s Productivity Commission sounded a warning over including ISDS provisions in trade agreements.. “No ISDS carve-outs or exemptions in existing trade agreements around the world have prevented governments being sued by corporations for simply making legislation in the name of their community.”

So Aussies are to lose all sovereign rights under FTA’s.  Good one Abbott, you Neoliberal con-artist.

Australia free trade agreement with Korea

Free Trade with Korea – lower prices are just the beginning.

Then there’s killing of Aussie local industry, mass sackings and low-cost Korean tradies arriving by the plane load.

Under Abbott’s free trade deal with Korea, imports from Korea are to get cheaper. So cheap that because Koreans work for shite, Aussies who don’t and won’t work for shite, simply can’t compete.

Kia, Daewoo and Hyundai cars have been sold cheaper that Australian-made Holden, Ford and Toyota.  But Andrew Robb and Tony Abbott couldn’t give a shite that they have killed Australia’s auto manufacturing industry with it 90,000 jobs lost and $8 billion revenue a year.  They’re politicians on aristocratic incomes, perks, super and pensions for life.

It is Abbott’s Neoliberal Globalist plan to sack decent hard-working Aussies and send us to CentreLink, so Aussie taxpayers can fund them on to unproductive and demeaning welfare.  Sounds like a strategy to dumb down Australia’s decent working standards to Korean Third World standards.

Seoul might look modern from the postcards, but it is nigh Third World in culture and workplace conditions.  Korean disasters like the Hanwa Chemical factory explosion this month, the Hube Globe hydrofluoric acid spill in September 2012, the Sewol ferry sinking in April 2014, the list of Korean aviation disasters.  Korean practices are not exactly first world.  They compete by cutting costs.

Under Abbott’s Free Trade with Korea, Australian manufacturing will be supplanted by cheaper offshoring to Korea, effectively replacing Aussie jobs.

Samsung washing machines made in Korea are cheaper than Westinghouse washing machines made in Australia.  But then Aussie made ones don’t catch fire.

Samsung top loader washing machines have sparked 95 known fires across Australia, 19 of which have occurred in the last year, despite more than 165,000 units being recalled more than two years ago.

Fire investigator Michael Forbes says that in 2015, seven fires had been caused by the machines in New South Wales alone.  ‘NSW Fair Trading says that the water condenses onto an internal motor connector and that’s what causes the arching and overheating to occur.

Despite issuing three recalls, less than half of the sold machines have been returned for the recommended service, and even then, the machines are just as dangerous.

‘The problem now is even in the machines that have been fixed, we are still seeing fires in those machines,’ Mr Forbes said. Australian firefighters say Sansung one’s will explode even after company tries to fix them.

NSW Fair Trading says anyone concerned about their machine should contact Samsung’s Product Safety Hotline on 1800 239 655 for a free in-home service.  Don’t hold your breath.

But they’re cheap and allowed to compete on a level playing field with quality Australian products.  So the Australian manufacturers can’t compete on price and go broke.  Aussie consumers are then left to buy cheap foreign crap.

Bing Lee