Farm­ers play down Trump’s trade re­treat

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

THE Tas­ma­nian Farm­ers and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion is putting a brave face on Don­ald Trump’s an­nounce­ment that the United States will not rat­ify the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship.

The US pres­i­dent-elect has vowed to quit the trade agree­ment on his first day in of­fice.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Skillern said that TFGA was en­cour­aged South Amer­i­can coun­tries were likely to re­main as sig­na­to­ries.

“Amer­ica’s exit will have an im­pact but the bulk of the TPP will re­main in place.”

Mr Skillern said what was more im­por­tant for Tas­ma­nia was that mar­kets were open­ing up in Aus­tralia's ma­jor trad­ing part­ners in Asia, in­clud­ing China.

Last week TFGA com­mented that the TPP would have been a pos­i­tive step for many sec­tors of Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture, par­tic­u­larly beef and dairy, but said the deal was never go­ing to have an im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

Ben­e­fits would in­evitably flow through to our state, but only in the longer term, the farmer body said.

It said Tas­ma­nia had es­tab­lished re­la­tion­ships with TPP coun­tries like Ja­pan, Malaysia and Viet­nam.

In the 2015-2016 fi­nan­cial year Tas­ma­nia recorded ex­ports to the US worth $207 mil­lion, in­clud­ing beef ($95m), cheese ($4m), hops ($7.68m) and alu­minium ($18m).

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said there was very strong sup­port among the other coun­tries in­volved in the TPP.

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