At an AIEx event this morning in Brisbane the Shadow Minister for Trade, the Hon. Warren Truss, launched the Coalition Government’s Trade Policy themed – Restoring Support for Australian Exporters.
The Australian Institute of Export demonstrated its’ commitment to the export community by mounting a substantial campaign to Government in 2009 regarding the multi-million dollar shortfall in the EMDG Scheme. This resulted in an additional $50 million being injected into the scheme by the Government.
Today Mr Truss announced the Coalitions’ plans for the future of EMDG along with additional Trade Policy initiatives. Below are the main points and click here to download a full copy of Mr Truss’s speech:
The Coalition understands that trade is the key engine of growth for Australia. One in four jobs in regional Australia is directly or indirectly linked to exports. When the Coalition was last in government, exports from regional Australia grew three times faster than did exports from major cities.
About a quarter of regional Australia’s income now comes from exports.
• EMDG Scheme
o A Coalition Government will increase the EMDG cap to $200 million effective from 1 July 2011 restoring the $50 million funding shortfall.
o Furthermore, in government the Coalition will examine the merits of removing the cap altogether.
• Intensifying international trade reform
o The Coalition’s highest trade policy priority remains the Doha negotiations and an outcome that delivers genuine, new commercial opportunities for our farmers, manufacturers and service providers.
o The Coalition will establish the permanent position of Ambassador for Trade Reform to promote further trade reform internationally and coordination at home and continue funding the position of Trade Representative for Australia’s Agricultural Industries.
o Establish the new roles of Trade Representative for Australia’s Manufacturing Industries and Trade Representative for Australia’s Services Industries.
o Seek to negotiate new rules on trade in agriculture that reduce trade distorting practices and improve market access and reduce international barriers for industrial products and the service industry to achieve improved access to overseas markets.
• Pursuit of Bilateral Free Trade Agreements
o The Coalition will re-establish the Trade Advisory Council, abolished by Labor, as the Coalition’s pre-eminent source of advice from the business sector on Trade and Investment issues.
o Devote increased resources to the effective conclusion of high quality and comprehensive FTAs with China, Japan, Malaysia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Republic of Korea and Indonesia and explore the feasibility of an agreement on services with the European Union.
o A Coalition Government will support the development of the Trans-Pacific Strategy Economic Partnership Agreement, based on the expansion of the P4 free trade agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. The Coalition views this as a stepping stone to a longer term goal of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
I look forward to an announcement on Trade and Investment from the Labor Party.