Comment - Western Australian Farmers Federation

Western Australian Farmers Federation

The Federal Government must protect future trade with post-war Iraq.

Iraq has a preference for trading with Australia and it is up to the Australian Government to ensure that future trade is not jeopardized.

This trade is under threat, and wheat farmers in particular will suffer the consequences of the Government’s policy on Iraq.

The United States has said it will seek to control the lucrative wheat trade in post-war Iraq, but the permanent loss of any market will have repercussions on Australian farmers and the economy as a whole.

Australian farmers value the trade with Iraq, and if it is lost, will pursue the Federal Government for compensation.

The Iraqi wheat trade is worth $800 million annually, most of that being produced by WA and South Australian farmers.

If the Government allows this market to be lost, we will need to find new markets, and in order to penetrate new markets, will need to discount the price.

WA and SA farmers commend the Federal Government for purchasing 100,000 tonnes of Australian wheat for humanitarian food aid in Iraq.

It benefits Australian wheat farmers as well as Iraqi civilians.

The Government must resume the Oil-for-Food Program as quickly as possible to ensure we protect our valuable trading relationship with Iraq and future trade opportunities in the region.

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