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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 26243


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (10:37 PM) —I understand that Japan has not made any approach to Australia in that regard. It does not necessarily follow that, because this is such a beneficial agreement with the United States and has such a big impact, it must impact on other agreements with other countries—and Senator Ridgeway cited the Japanese example. You can have a number of free trade agreements with diverse countries that deliver great benefits to Australia without there being any conflict of interest, certainly from the point of view of Australia. We negotiate these agreements in our national interests, not in anybody else's national interests. That is our point: it is their job to look after their national interests, and we look after ours. From this point of view there is no problem for Australia in either of those two agreements; neither is there any conflict therein.