Doorstop – Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: trade.
19 March 2018

JOURNALIST: [inaudible] between China and the US?

STEVEN CIOBO: Sorry, what was that?

JOURNALIST: It's about a trade war.

STEVEN CIOBO: Oh, well, it's in no one's interest for there to be a trade war. Trade wars will only lead to declining living standards. Trade wars will only lead to high levels of poverty and reduced global economic output. So, it's in no one's interest for that to occur. Australia wants to play a positive role. We think that there's much merit in ongoing discussion with World Trade Organization, and compliance with the international rules-based order on trade will be critical. And we certainly encourage all countries to make sure that they participate in the global forum discussions that are available to deal with these types of issues.

JOURNALIST: It's very exciting to know that there's still a great opportunity for cooperation between China and Australia. Generally, what's your opinion, do you think Australia will benefit from US, China tension?

STEVEN CIOBO: No one will benefit from tension in the global trading environment. We need all countries to be able to work together to maintain high levels of trade and investment activity. We have seen, since there's been an uptick in global trade and global investment, similarly an uptick in terms of global forecasts for growth and that's a positive thing because it will mean that there's more job opportunities that are created in countries around the world. We are very focused on continuing to provide and encourage countries, the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions to make sure that we can resolve issues in a logical, calm, methodical way rather than resorting to action, in retaliatory action, which ultimately will just lead to lower levels of prosperity.

JOURNALIST: Thanks very much.

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