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Jakarta Post

Insight: Is Australia going green on trade?

  • Alan Oxley

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 14 2010   /  09:30 am

Indonesian trade officials would be entitled to wonder who has a greater say in trade relations with Indonesia — the Australian government or environmental campaigners?The environmental campaigners are currently making more noise on trade policy.  They have been prodding the Australian government into taking trade actions that would effectively reduce agricultural and forestry exports from Indonesia.This would undermine economic growth — particularly in rural regions. Campaigns by groups such as Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) to put curbs on the commodities trade are nothing new. All have a history of opposing free trade. The most recent example is a push by campaigners to have the Australian government hold an official inquiry into food labeling. The aim of the push is to eventually have palm oil — but not other similar vegetable...