On the TPP

James O’Neill writes: Re. “Turnbull’s Trans Pacific Protectionism in the Big Apple” (yesterday). The TPP is designed as part of the US “containment” of China, as well as an unprecedented attack on national sovereignty under the Dispute Resolution provisions. Despite this, and the almost complete absence of any measurable benefit for Australia the TPP barely rated a mention, if at all, in the recent election campaign. This is because both Labor and the Coalition are willing to sell out Australia to American corporate interests.
Hugh White has made the very valid point that for the first time in our history our major trading partner is not also an ally. It is creating manifold conundrums for Australia which neither major party is willing to address. As Paul Keating also observed, we do not have a foreign policy regarding China. Simply following the Americans into one disaster after another (as in Syria over the weekend) is not a substitute for a foreign policy. The time for a proper debate is long overdue.

Peter Logan writes: Bingo Bernard! At $3 million per job the submarines have established a new Australian record for most expensive job creation project. The previous record holder was the F1 grand prix in Melbourne, where Ernst & Young estimated it “created” 351 jobs, based on patron numbers supplied by a corporation that admits it doesn’t count its patrons. I calculate the total sunk cost for that event at $750 million, which makes the unit price of the ‘estimated’ 351 jobs around $2.137 million each. And we were told by the Victorian Auditor-General back in 2007 that it failed his peer reviewed cost benefit analysis. By the time the first submarine is built, the grand prix will be ahead on the cost per job ratio as the losses keep escalating. It has bi-partisan support so that prediction is locked in. Economic irrationality on a grand scale?