Doorstop - Pacific Alliance High Level Dialogue

  • Transcript, E&OE
14 March 2017

JOURNALIST: What's Australia's position withregard to the future, the road forward now? Is it TPP minus one plus two? Is ita brand new concoction? How does Australia see it?

STEVEN CIOBO: It's probably best to ask thatquestion after tomorrow. Certainly at this stage, Australia is veryunapologetically pro-liberalised trade, pro-free trade and it's served ourcountry very well for many decades. The fact is Australia does well through liberalisedtrade. We've just secured in recent years, major free trade agreements withChina, with Korea and with Japan. Those agreements have underpinned theeconomic growth and the strong economic growth we've seen in Australia, whichin turn underpins jobs in Australia, so we're very pro-trade.

JOURNALIST: How much of a blow is it then thatPresident Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP? What does that mean?

STEVEN CIOBO: It was disappointing, but notunexpected. President Trump delivered upon his commitment that he took to theelection in the United States that he would withdraw the US from the TPP. As Isaid, it's disappointing, but it's not unexpected. That's why tomorrow'smeeting, the chance for us all to chat, will be an important opportunity.

JOURNALIST: I know that different countrieshave different positions. I know that Chile's position and I think, from what Iunderstand is also Australia's, is that incorporating China and Korea into ablocked role of Pacific Rim countries would be seen [inaudible]?

STEVEN CIOBO: I think we shouldn't get too farahead of ourselves. We're having the opportunity tomorrow for TPP countries andPacific Alliance to come together, to talk about trade in the region, to talkabout alternatives and pathways forward. That's an important contribution forpeople to have and an important discussion for us to have at this early stagein 2017. I applaud Minister Munoz and the Chilean Government for bringingeveryone together and we're going to be participating in good faith.

JOURNALIST: What would Australia like to seecoming out of this meeting? Is there any specifics that you'd like to see inthe communique tomorrow, or any discussions that you'd like?

STEVEN CIOBO: No as I said. Australia'sparticipating in good faith in this good discussion. Australia isunapologetically pro free and liberalised trade. It served our nation verywell. I want good trade deals that are good for Australia, serve our nationalinterest. Most importantly contribute to Australia's economic growth and contributeto Australians having jobs. The inescapable fact is this: good trade deals aretrade deals that provide win-win outcomes. Good for both countries or if it's aregional agreement, good for all countries involved. We're going to continue toengage in good faith. We're going to continue to explore opportunities, to openup new markets for Australia.

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