On the Wallaby | Deal is short on detail

UNCERTAINTY: While there are plenty of positives being discussed around the TPP, none or the negatives have been revealed.

UNCERTAINTY: While there are plenty of positives being discussed around the TPP, none or the negatives have been revealed.

In the past, rural communities in general have welcomed any reduction in tariffs applied by countries on our agricultural exports.

It is not hard to sense a current unease over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Maybe doubts are fuelled by a lack of detail, the secrecy of the deal and the fact that all we are hearing is the positives.

When a politician says “Trust me” warning bells chime.

No one has laid out any of the negatives and you can bet there are some or indeed many.

The government says that the TPP agreement will reduce tariffs by more than 98 per cent across participating economies, and in 2016-17 this was a massive one-quarter of Australia’s total exports.

This is worth nearly $88 billion. 

Some will ask why wouldn’t we aim for bilateral or limited multilateral agreements instead of a goliath?  

It seems the major market where quotas and tariffs will reduce or be phased out is Japan.

And, Japan is in a position where they need friends like never before given a highly unstable North Korea.

FREEDOM

The concern should be that, will the recent foray by vegans into a Melbourne restaurant become a regular occurrence? If it does, one would expect that the perpetrators could be at risk of physical harm. 

Diners in the future will not be caught unawares and are sure to take matters into hand. Most of us could not care a tinkers curse what someone else eats and the last thing we want to hear is someone taking away our freedom of choice. 

Last week I was told by a woman she did not like lamb. Must say I was a little taken aback as lamb-loin chops cause me to salivate. However in the woman’s defence, fair enough. Some people cannot eat fish. Fair enough. Some people do not like milk, beer or wine, Fair enough. 

However, when a vegan tells me what to eat, put colloquially, like a turkey roast they can get stuffed.

TAXING

 A sugar tax, what a doozy of an idea. In the sights of the anti-sugar lobby are those who want to lessen the dietary impact carbonated sugar drinks are having on community health. Yes it is a concern, but is a tax the way to curb the problem? 

For instance a tax on cigarettes has been claimed to curb smoking. But is it the limiting of opportunities to smoke that are impacting? Alcohol is heavily taxed and drunkenness continues to be rampant. 

The problem with changing public opinion was bought home to me last week when a chap ordered a medium-sized takeaway cappuccino with four sugars. Then lo and behold someone ordered a large with three sugars. I give up.