Worried about agents of foreign influence? Just look at who owns Australia's biggest companies

All four of Australia's big banks are majority-owned by American investors. So too are Woolworths, Rio Tinto and BHP.


All four of Australia's big banks are majority-owned by American investors. So too are Woolworths, Rio Tinto and BHP.

An analysis of the ownership of Australia's 20 biggest companies reveals where those concerned with foreign investment should focus their attention.

Right now US corporations eclipse everyone else in their ability to influence our politics, through their investments in Australian stocks.

So too are Woolworths and Rio Tinto. BHP, once known as “the Big Australian”, is 73% owned by American-based investors.

Such a concentration of foreign ownership should be a concern regardless of how much we see the US as an ally committed to liberal-democratic values, and appreciate that US corporate interests are not necessarily monolithic or necessarily exercised in accordance with a government agenda.

that “harms” an investment. This is something no Australian citizen can do.

This, however, has not significantly altered the dominance of US investor interests.

The US company did so by moving ownership of its Australian operations to Hong Kong and then using the ISDS clause embedded in an investment treaty between Australia and Hong Kong. It used the clause to argue the Australian government’s law amounted to unjust confiscation of trademarks and intellectual property.

Jonathan Bonnitcha and his co-authors argue in their book

Under ISDS clauses, though, private investors don’t have defensive interests. States cannot commence proceedings against them. They can attack with adventurous legal arguments, and not worry about defending themselves from those same arguments down the road.

All well and good. Australian democracy benefits when foreign efforts to influence policies are conducted in an open and transparent manner.

Read more: SBS News

Well, would you rather live in America or China where you are not free. If it were majority owned by China there would be a huge outcry. That it’s Americans is no better. Australian banks should not be allowed to be majority owned by foreigners due to the power to destroy our economy Capitalist influence in government is why democracy is an illusion... You forget to include the media, which works in tandem with corporate influence. Political donations/bribery by corporate and other influential people should be a crime against democracy!

But Australians can’t have 5g because it says Made in China So why are has the govt been protecting them No different to an Australian with an offshore company whiteswine Don’t forget that they provide significant in-market opportunities for colonists looking to develop their skills as overseers.

Gladys Liu 'cannot recall' being on China Overseas Exchange Association councilsThe Liberal backbencher is being urged to address Parliament over claims of her association with China's foreign influence operations. Resign! virgotweet We already knew she was a liar 🤥 How can she not 'recall' this? Either she was or she wasn't? A convenient memory loss - she needs to go. auspol ScottMorrisonMP

Gladys Liu backflips on claims she has no ties to Chinese influence groups | Sky News AustraliaLiberal backbencher Gladys Liu has backflipped on claims she was not a member of any groups linked to Chinese foreign interference operations or the country’s Communist Party, less than 24 hours after she denied the accusations live on Sky News.\n\n“I can tell you I cannot recall [the council membership] as is reported from 2003 to 2015 … if I can’t recall I can’t be an active member of that council,” Ms Liu told host Andrew Bolt on Tuesday night. \n\n“How can you not recall a membership of 12 years?” he replied.\n\nNow the member for Chisholm has backflipped on her comments, confirming her ties with the Australian Jiangmen General Commercial Association and the United Chinese Commerce Association of Australia.\n\nMs Liu also admitted to holding a former honorary role with the Guangdong Overseas Exchange Association, which reportedly has ties to a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party that works to influence foreign governments. \n\nImage: News Corp Australia Sack her. WTF

Companies are being pressured to be politically correct: Gerry Harvey | Sky News AustraliaSuperannuation companies are 'pressuring' businesses like Harvey Norman to adopt 'politically correct positions' according to Australian entrepreneur and businessman Gerry Harvey. \n\nMr Harvey told Sky News large super funds 'will not invest' in his company unless he changes his corporate practices.\n\n'Every week or two or three I get a letter saying 'you don't meet the requirements, and you rank very low on all the tick the boxes, so this doesn't allow us to buy shares in your company and would you please rectify this situation,'' he said. 'So I generally just put the letter in the garbage.'\n\nHe said pressure groups with small constituencies, like the 'nobody group the Sleeping Giants' like to put pressure on large companies. You mean like not supporting nut jobs like jones who hate women and sprout bullshit about scientists making stuff up. That could be a good reason for companys not to invest in assholes running appliance monopolies. Why an aussie would buy a stove off you is beyond me. Harvey is a social dinosaur Super firms don’t have a clue. Hence they cannot best the index. Keep slapping them down Gerry 👍

Labor says government should investigate controversial Aboriginal flag copyright dealLabor's spokesperson for Indigenous Australians says there should be scrutiny of the deal which handed the copyright of the Aboriginal flag to a privately-owned... She's right. It's a disgrace. Just create a new flag you silly people Create a new flag Wake up Create a new flag Still with this shit? The Federal Court awarded ownership to the creator, he licensed the production of items bearing the design to other people as is his right. His design to do whatever he wants with. Cash up if you want to change it.

The Real Housewives of Melbourne renewed for a fifth seasonPop the champers, our very own housewives are back. Said no one ever Yeah...nah. *crickets*

9News - Latest news and headlines from Australia and the worldBREAKING: Residents forced to evacuate because of bushfires will be able to return to their homes in the next few hours. 9News |

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