• Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: Visit to Japan, TPP.
Cabinet Secretariat Office, Tokyo
18 April 2017

JOURNALIST:What were the exchanges concerning TPP today?

STEVEN CIOBO: We've hada very good round of meetings here in Japan. It's always a terrific privilegeto visit Japan. You have a very beautiful country and I enjoy the opportunityto visit as Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister.

Today I've had theopportunity to meet with a number of Japan's Ministers to talk about the stronggoodwill that exists between Japan and Australia. The focus on this, the 60thanniversary of the relationship in terms of economic cooperation between Japanand Australia, and to reflect on the fact that under the Japan-AustraliaEconomic Partnership Agreement we've seen our trade and investment relationshipgo from strength to strength.

I've also beenbuoyed by the fact that we continue to see really strong growth in touristsboth from Australia to Japan as well as from Japan to Australia. On the TPP, wehad the chance to have a conversation about our mutual interests in holdingonto the gains that have been agreed to under the TPP. If that is a TPP-11,that is all TPP countries minus the United States, then we think there is realbenefit from moving forward.

Ultimately this hasgot to be a key focus for officials when they meet in early May in Canada butalso a key discussion point for all 11 countries in Hanoi around APEC. Butcertainly Australia and Japan share common ground and common interest about ourdesire for the TPP to continue forward as a TPP-11.

JOURNALIST: Did youget the feeling that you could have Japan's understanding regarding the TPP-11?

STEVEN CIOBO: Ithink Japan and Australia, as I mentioned, share a common interest and commonground on TPP-11.

JOURNALIST: What isthe meaning and significance of creating a framework for TPP-11 without theUnited States?

STEVEN CIOBO: Thereare a lot of benefits that flow from the TPP. Those are benefits that we shouldhold onto, benefits especially in driving economic growth, driving employmentopportunities and there are also a myriad of benefits that flow for the 11countries that would be in the TPP-11. Ultimately, each government is motivatedto drive economic growth, especially at a time of economic challenge and that'sthe main benefit.

JOURNALIST: Withthe prospect that the TPP will not be taking effect it seems that the US beefindustry is becoming quite aggressive. What is your take on this?

STEVEN CIOBO: WellI think it's too early to say the TPP won't come into effect. The clear viewfrom Australia, from a number of other countries that have agreed to the TPP,as well as the discussions I've had with Japanese Ministers today, indicate astrong desire for the TPP to come into effect, without the United States ifneed be.

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