Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Trade figures mask the truth - Costello can't tell the truth.



Download PDFDownload PDF

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

HON. SIMON CREAN MP Federal Labor Shadow Minister for Trade

2 June 2005

TRADE FIGURES MASK THE TRUTH - COSTELLO CAN’T TELL THE TRUTH

The Treasurer bases his optimism for an improved trade performance on one month’s figures but ignores the past 42 months of trade deficits.

Today’s trade figures reflect the highest terms of trade in 50 years and significant price increases for coal and iron ore.

Notwithstanding those price increases export volumes of coal and iron ore still fell in April.

As ANZ economist Chris Munn noted today:

“It is volumes that matter for growth, and there is no sign in these numbers of the turn-around in volumes that is required for the trade sector to make a positive contribution to growth”

That is the truth and Mr Costello cannot tell the truth about the parlous state of Australia’s trade performance.

The Treasurer won’t admit that Australia’s woeful trade performance is a long term structural and unsustainable problem.

Until he does admit that we won’t get a sensible solution.

The Treasurer’s complacency is astounding.

He must admit he is wrong and change his export policy.

ENDS