Government policy adherence to WTO principles

Stevan attended the 2012 WTO Public Forum in Geneva where he represented The University of Western Sydney. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Business and Commerce and is working extensively with Australians from migrant backgrounds.

Abstract 

The paper will examine the role of government policy in synthesising adherence to WTO principles while supporting deteriorating industries. Are these agendas reconcilable under an amalgamated trade policy or are the two an incompatible polarity? This essay provides some insight to the subject through a case study of Passenger Motor Vehicle (PMV) industry. The particular appeal of this sector lies in its far-reaching political implications, extensive media power and powerful labour union presence. Has the PMV industry suffered as the result of multilateral and unilateral trade policies and the removal of government assistance? 

The essay contends not only that many problems PMV manufacturers face are economically inevitable but self-inflicted; it maintains that all claims for culpability of trade liberalisation are versions of the same falsity. The research reaffirms the decline is caused by fluctuation of macroeconomic variables: currency appreciation; increase in price of major inputs: iron and steel; competitiveness of foreign imports; diminishing domestic and global demand; and most importantly, insensibility to shifting consumer and market trends. Further it reasserts the significance of PMV industry in technological innovation. The essay proposes that there is a logical solution: Australian government can simultaneously provide appropriate support to the PMV sector and adhere to WTO agreements. The industry should be assisted through WTO-friendly, non-trade restricting polices, in particular research and development subsidies.  

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The impact of the G20 on the global economy and the role of Australia as a middle power

Ruth Lo Surdo is attending the G20 summit in Mexico where she is representing The University of Western Sydney. Ruth is studying a Bachelor of Economics and Law, as well as being a member of the Aspire Leadership Program.

Abstract 

Through an analysis of past summits and present opinions of the G20, this report assesses whether the G20 has had any impact on the global economy or whether its critics are correct in stating that it is simply a leaders ‘get together’. This report also proposes actions that need to be taken in the future in order to ensure the G20 remains influential in the global economy.  In addition, the report also analyses the impact of Australia on the G20 as a middle power. While the notion of middle power diplomacy is questioned by some who say that it is ineffective, this report illustrates how among the major superpowers of the world, middle power diplomacy can be instrumental at global summits such as the G20.  

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The role of sustainable cities & green jobs in Australia

Edward attended the 2012 Rio+20 summit where he represented The University of Western Sydney. He is currently studying a Bachelors of Business and Laws, as well as being a part of the Aspire Leadership. Program.

Abstract

This paper examines the existing Australian sustainability landscape and concludes that more can be done from a policy perspective to ensure a more sustainable future. Considering the two areas of sustainable cities and green jobs through the four lenses of: productivity, sustainability, liveability and governance reveal that Australia’s commitment to sustainable development can be improved. Although legislation and academic research created by government aims to improve existing cities in line with sustainable development, the efficacy of such measures is brought into question. Considering green jobs, the initial government subsidies and consequent hasty withdrawal of funds from the Solar Credits Program reveals a waning commitment. Australia’s pursuit of a more sustainable future is one currently mired in theory. It does not fully utilise a defining link between young people in green jobs, and the subsequent development of sustainable cities. Education, above all, is concluded to be the primary method through which existing sustainability shortfalls can be addressed. In looking to a sustainable future, young Australians should not be overlooked. Recommendations:

  • Establish subsidised or fully sponsored TAFE and University places throughout Australian tertiary institutions that teach useful skills for employment in the green jobs sector;

  • In line with the social protection floor that green jobs offer, target potential students from low socioeconomic backgrounds;

  • The Solar Credits Program and other subsidy-based programs like it should be reinstated to their previous operational level. This means, no cuts to funding, thereby leaving skilled workers without employment and undermining previous sustainability achievements; and

  • Focus on utilising existing infrastructure in the most efficient ways possible. This may mean an increase in housing density, but not at the expense of resident’s quality of life. ‘Greening’ buildings through such measures as: installing solar PV or insulating walls to reduce cooling and heating costs should be encouraged. Perhaps this too could be achieved through subsidies.

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