The Bush administration is in the final negotiations of a bilateral free-trade agreement with Australia. In an effort to promote global free trade, the pact will give Australian farmers access to U.S. consumers and open up Australian markets for U.S. pharmaceuticals, machinery, and entertainment. The pact will also reward Australia for supporting the U.S. during the Iraq war. California farmers, including the dairy industry, oppose the pact, believing it will result in a flood of cheap imports and thousands of U.S. producers going out of business.
See Evelyn Iritani, Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2004