ABC Newsradio

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: US Presidential Election
10 November 2016

STEVENCIOBO: I'd saythat the TPP's US passage is less likely than likely. Importantly though,across trade, Donald Trump has made it clear that he's a believer in trade thatbenefits America, that benefits American jobs and American economic growth andhelps with their deficit repair. Now those are goals that aren't dissimilar toobviously our trade aspirations here in Australia. We want trade deals that aregood for Australia, good for Australian jobs, and good for helping to restoreAustralia's budget.

MIKEGARDINER: What doyou say though to his threat to impose a 45 per cent tariff on Chinese imports?What would that do?

STEVENCIOBO: Well, Idon't think there's a lot of value in speculating wildly on what might happenif this and what might happen if that. We need to see how US policy iscalibrated over the coming weeks and months. Obviously, he's made a point thathe feels currency manipulation is not of benefit to the United States. We'vejust got to see now how that actually comes to pass.

MIKEGARDINER: So areyou pessimistic or optimistic about the future as far as trade goes?

STEVENCIOBO: I remainoptimistic. I mean trade is fundamental to driving economic prosperity, todriving employment outcomes, and to producing a better standard of living intothe future than we've had in the past. That is what trade has delivered inAustralia – economic growth for 25 or 26 years, it's underpinned the prosperitythat we have today. So I remain optimistic that trade is going to be a keydriver not only for Australia, but for the UK and the USA as well, as principaltrading nations.

MIKEGARDINER: Do youthink from that that he'll have to change his tune now that he's got to theOval Office?

STEVENCIOBO: No. I thinkthat President-elect Trump has made comments that indicate that he wants tradedeals that are good for the United States. That is an aspiration that I share.I want trade deals that are good for Australia. This is ultimately – it comesdown to how that manifests itself over the weeks and months ahead.

MIKEGARDINER: Nowyou're a straight-talking man. He's a straight-talking man. Do you think thatyou'll be able to get on?

STEVENCIOBO: LookI'mvery confident that we will see a strong relationship between President-electTrump and of course Prime Minister Turnbull. I'm sure that we'll see a veryclose working relationship between the Government of Australia and theAdministration and Congress of the United States. We share, fundamentally,values. We share fundamentally an approach in terms of wanting better for ourpeople, the rule of law, the foundation of democracy. These are thefundamentals that have bound Australia and the United States together for manydecades.

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