Economic Factors have been of dominant concern in Australian Foreign Policy decisions over the past 25 years

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‘ECONOMIC FACTORS HAVE BEEN THE DOMINANT CONCERN IN AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN POLICY OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS.’ During the past 25 years, Australian Foreign Policy has consisted of a balance between economic and security priorities. No government can afford to focus on one to the detriment of the other. During the Hawke and Keating era (1983-1996), economic factors were of significant importance as we were in a region that was growing rapidly, faster than any other region in the world. Although having said this, it can be argued that there were exceptions whereby security initiatives were of equal concern to the government. In the current day (Howard era), it is possible to view that there is a higher emphasis on security initiatives than ever…show more content…
Another contributing factor that saw the focus on economic foreign policy decisions during the Hawke and Keating era was the establishment of the Cairns Group. As access to global markets and the effective liberation of agriculture trading, Australia engaged itself in the Cairns Group of Fair Trading Nations (which was founded by Australia). Founded in 1986, its aim (interest) was to ensure open markets for agricultural goods and promote that agricultural trade issues would be given a high priority in the Multilateral Trade Negotiations. This was imperative to Australia’s national interest as under the USA’s Export Enhancement Program, the USA undercut Australian agricultural trading alliances with countries and overtook them in markets such as Japan, one of our greatest trading partners. This limited and severely affected Australian agricultural exports and markets to trading nations as now that market was covered by the USA, who were competing at subsidized prices and undercutting our markets. This resulted in the Cairns Group being invoked that pursued the goals of the liberation of agricultural trade. This assisted Australia in maintaining an agricultural market that ensured the safety of the market. This foreign policy decision by the government clearly indicated the concern of economic factors in the region and showed how economic conditions are imperative to the national interest of a nation. However, during
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