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Vaile to attend trade talks in Chile, United States and Brazil.

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Media release

Friday, 4 June 2004 - MVT39/2004

Vaile to Attend Trade Talks in Chile, United States and Brazil

Trade Minister Mark Vaile will seek strong APEC backing for building further momentum in the Doha round of world trade negotiations when he attends the APEC trade ministers meeting in Pucon, Chile, on 5 June.

After the APEC meeting, Mr Vaile will visit the United States on 6-12 June to promote the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and to attend the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in Washington. He will return to Australia via

Brazil for informal meetings on agriculture negotiations in the WTO Doha Round

During his visits Mr Vaile plans to meet separately with a number of ministers including Dr Supachai, the WTO Director-General, US Trade Representative Bob Zoellick and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.

“The July deadline for a package in the Doha negotiations is getting close and we must not miss the opportunity offered by the greater flexibility finally shown by the European Union and the desire shown by ministers at the recent OECD ministerial meeting to push forward,” Mr Vaile said.

“A successful Doha round will shape the global trading system and the economic outlook of APEC economies for years to come. The APEC Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok last year was instrumental in re-energising the negotiations after the disappointment at Cancun.

“APEC now has an opportunity to provide direction in the lead up to the WTO General

Council meeting in July. We must send a strong message of support for the Doha Development Agenda to the wider WTO membership.”

Ministers will also discuss the role of free-trade agreements in achieving trade and investment liberalisation in the APEC region.

“I am convinced that if they are structured properly, FTAs can make a major contribution to our quest for free trade in the APEC region,” Mr Vaile said.

In Washington, Mr Vaile will attend the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, a bipartisan and private initiative held annually on a rotating basis between Australia and the US which brings together leaders of enterprise, government, think tanks, the media and the community from both countries to focus on the strategic parameters of the bilateral relationship.

He will also travel to Los Angeles and Chicago to meet senior business representatives, including from the film and

television industry and members of the American-Australian Free Trade Agreement Coalition.

“With Congressional consideration on the FTA likely in June and July, I will advocate the strong mutual gains from the enhanced integration of our two economies which result from the agreement,” Mr Vaile said.

Contact: Matthew Doman 02 6277 7420