Industry Comment - Western Australian Farmers Federation

A bilateral trade agreement with the US could cost Australian farmers enormously.

The latest ACIL Tasman report studies in depth the benefits and downfalls of such a proposed Free Trade Agreement, and indicates the agreement would be detrimental to the Australian agricultural industry as a whole.

The potential benefits for sugar, beef and dairy have been based on small and optimistic gains, but the ACIL report suggests there is much better growth potential in Asia and with other developing trading partners.

An agreement with the US could well threaten our position as leaders of the Cairnes Group, widely noted as leading the way in world trade reform.

Becoming engaged and tied down with bilateral trade talks could threaten multi-lateral gains at the World Trade Organisation Doha round, where potential long term gains are far greater.

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