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Transcript of interview with Mike Gardiner: ABC NewsRadio: 10 November: US Presidential Election

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THE HON STEVEN CIOBO MP Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment


Subjects: US Presidential Election


STEVEN CIOBO: I'd say that the TPP's US passage is less likely than likely. Importantly though, across trade, Donald Trump has made it clear that he's a believer in trade that benefits America, that benefits American jobs and American economic growth and helps with their deficit repair. Now those are goals that aren't dissimilar to obviously our trade aspirations here in Australia. We want trade deals that are good for Australia, good for Australian jobs, and good for helping to restore Australia's budget.

MIKE GARDINER: What do you say though to his threat to impose a 45 per cent tariff on Chinese imports? What would that do?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I don't think there's a lot of value in speculating wildly on what might happen if this and what might happen if that. We need to see how US policy is calibrated over the coming weeks and months. Obviously, he's made a point that he feels currency manipulation is not of benefit to the United States. We've just got to see now how that actually comes to pass.

MIKE GARDINER: So are you pessimistic or optimistic about the future as far as trade goes?

STEVEN CIOBO: I remain optimistic. I mean trade is fundamental to driving economic prosperity, to driving employment outcomes, and to producing a better standard of living into the future than we've had in the past. That is what trade has delivered in Australia - economic growth for 25 or 26 years, it's underpinned the prosperity that we have today. So I remain optimistic that trade is going to be a key driver not only for Australia, but for the UK and the USA as well, as principal trading nations.

MIKE GARDINER: Do you think from that that he'll have to change his tune now that he's got to the Oval Office?

STEVEN CIOBO: No. I think that President-elect Trump has made comments that indicate that he wants trade deals that are good for the United States. That is an aspiration that I share.

I want trade deals that are good for Australia. This is ultimately - it comes down to how that manifests itself over the weeks and months ahead.

MIKE GARDINER: Now you're a straight-talking man. He's a straight-talking man. Do you think that you'll be able to get on?

STEVEN CIOBO: Look I'm very confident that we will see a strong relationship between President-elect Trump and of course Prime Minister Turnbull. I'm sure that we'll see a very close working relationship between the Government of Australia and the Administration and Congress of the United States. We share, fundamentally, values. We share fundamentally an approach in terms of wanting better for our people, the rule of law, the foundation of democracy. These are the fundamentals that have bound Australia and the United States together for many decades.