Abbott Signs Free Trade Agreement With Japanese Prime Minister Abe

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has signed a free trade agreement with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

Signing

The agreement is called The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). It ensures that more than 97% of Australia’s exports to Japan will receive preferential access or enter duty-free.

The signing followed this morning’s speech by Abe to a joint sitting of the Parliament. [Read more…]


Beattie Says Free Trade Deal Is Betrayal Of Sugar Industry

The newly re-elected Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, who lost so-called “sugar seats” in the election two days ago, has been quick to criticise the Free Trade Agreement with the United States announced today.

Text of media release from the Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie.

Sour free trade deal means Howard must deliver $120M to sugar industry

BeattiePremier Peter Beattie is bitterly disappointed that the Federal Coalition left the sugar industry out of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

“Prime Minister Howard says the deal is “fantastic” but it is in fact a betrayal of the Queensland sugar industry,” Mr Beattie said.

“It has shattered hopes held by the sugar industry and the Queensland Government for fairer access to a market of 280 million people. [Read more…]


ALP Attacks Government For Selling Out Australian Farmers In FTA

The Labor Opposition has attacked the Free Trade Agreement with the United States as a sell-out of Australian farmers, particularly those in the sugar, dairy and beef industries.

The agreement was announced today.

The ALP has also criticised the proposed changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and patent laws. [Read more…]


Farmers Lobby Group ‘Very Disappointed’ With Aspects Of FTA

The National Farmers Federation says the Australia-United State Free Trade Agreement has benefits for Australian agricultural industries, but the US has failed to deliver on free trade in agriculture.

Text of media release from Peter Corish, President of the National Farmers Federation.

CorishThe US Australia Trade Agreement has benefits for several Australian agricultural industries, but the United States has failed to deliver on free trade in agriculture, National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President, Mr Peter Corish said today.

Mr Corish explained that market access gains had been achieved for Australia’s dairy, beef, horticulture, sheepmeat and wool sectors. [Read more…]


Australia Now Locked Into Growth: Howard On FTA

This is the transcript of comments by the Prime Minister, John Howard, shortly after the announcement of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement.

He was interviewed by Steve Liebmann on Channel 9’s Today show.

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard interview with Steve Liebmann on Channel 9.

LIEBMANN: Prime Minister, good morning to you.

PRIME MINISTER: Good morning Steve.

LIEBMANN: Well a deal has been done on free trade with the United States, did you have to lean on the President to get it through? [Read more…]


People And Parliament Still In The Dark On FTA: Democrats

The Australian Democrats have attacked the lack of detail of the proposed Free Trade Agreement with the United States announced earlier today.

The party’s leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett, has lamented the Senate’s lack of power to force changed to the FTA. The Democrats have also called for more parliamentary involvement in the treaty-making process.

  • Listen to Bartlett (10m)

Text of media statement by the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Andrew Bartlett, and the party’s spokesperson for Trade and Overseas Development, Senator Aden Ridgeway.

US Trade Deal: Australian People and Parliament Still in the Dark

BartlettThe Australian Parliament and the Australian people still have little knowledge of the detail of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, say the Australian Democrats.

Democrats’ Trade spokesperson, Senator Aden Ridgeway, said that as negotiations have been conducted in secret there is no real idea of the extent of the compromises made in the agreement and the inconsistent messages from each side are cause for concern. [Read more…]


Agreement Reached On Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement

The Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, and the United States Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, have concluded a Free Trade Agreement, following months of negotiations.

The agreement requires ratification by the US Senate, by no means a foregone conclusion, especially in an election year. Parliamentary agreement is not required in Australia. [Read more…]