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Costly deal

A FREE Trade agreement with the US will be to the detriment of Western Australian farmers, according to WAFarmers. The WA farm lobby group made a warning following the arrival of a 40-person team from the US to discuss a FTA with Australia.

“Dr [Gary] Hufbauer, the key US architect and advocate of the FTA, stated … that the AWB single desk arrangement and our strict quarantine arrangements were the key targets to be dismantled, whilst maintaining that the subsidisation of US wheatgrowers could not be expected to change for at least 15 years,” WAFarmers president Colin Nicholl said.

“Single desk marketing is the only protection Australian growers have in world markets distorted by foreign government subsidisation and quarantine measures are deliberately strict to protect Australia’s agricultural industries. WAFarmers would strongly resist any push for changes in these areas.”

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