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Australia’s trade negotiating strategy fundamentally flawed

Capling, A. and Ravenhill, J. (2014) Australia’s trade negotiating strategy fundamentally flawed. The Conversation, 23 October 2014 .

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Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series, we review Australian trade policy over the years and where we stand today on the brink of a number of significant new trade deals.

Students of international relations are often introduced to the problems involved in sustaining international cooperation through Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s fable of the stag and the hare.

Rousseau’s story told of a group of hunters that went out in search of a deer. Only if they all worked together would they be successful in trapping the deer. But a single hunter acting alone could catch a hare. Distracted by an opportunity to do so, one hunter deserts the party chasing the deer – with the result that the deer escapes. The individual hunter catches a hare but because of the failure to cooperate the group misses out on the chance of trapping the deer, which would have brought greater benefits to all.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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