The Australian reports that Australia has a “secret deal” under its free trade agreement with the US that requires Canberra to check with the White House if it plans to reject a takeover offer by a US company, according to Australia’s former ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey. Mr Hockey, who is now a business consultant based in Washington DC, revealed the existence of the “side agreement” in the FTA, ­negotiated in 2004, with the US during an online seminar hosted by the US Studies Centre on ­Friday.