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SPC faces another blow as Hawke Lets Canada break agreement



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BRUCE LLOYD

Media Release

-s' «Î¯ v-

tar Primary Industry

F or fu rth er information: Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

ItTelephone: 06/2774193 Facsimile: 06/2772053

S P C F A C E S ANOTHER BLOW A S HAWKE L E T S CANADA BREAK AGREEMENT

Despite its restructuring, SPC and its Goulburn Valley fruit canning competitor, Ardmona, are being dealt another body blow as Canada fails to honor an agreement to allow Australian canned fruit fair access to Canadian markets.

National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to have further discussions with the Canadian Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next month.

Mr Lloyd said it was unfair that while Australia gives open access to Canada's frozen potatoes and pigmeat, Australia's canned fruit is being squeezed out of Canada.

He said the Australian Government's failure to hold Canada to the CANATA agreement for equitable access for Australian fruit now means that the US is gaining this market at the expense of

Australian growers and canners.

"The free-trade agreement between Canada and the US signed three years ago has meant US fruit sold into Canada now has a

significant tariff advantage and Australian fruit sales into the area have dropped by 30 per cent.

"Australia has a clear trade agreement with Canada to ensure that Australian fruit remained competitive with other suppliers, by providing fair and equitable access to Australian fruit. This has been broken and the Australian Government does not appear to

car e ."

Mr Lloyd said reports in Canada are suggesting that the

Australian Government sold out canned fruit to keep the peace for the sugar industry.

"I find it hard to understand why the Government was negotiating one Australian product against another rather than against imports from Canada."

Mr Lloyd said he has maintained a close liaison with the fruit industry with the most recent meeting being in his Canberra office last week.

"I commend the Canned Fruits Industry Council of Australia and its president; Philip Pullar, for continuing to fight to have this agreement between Canada and Australia honored.

"However, unless the Prime Minister gets behind the industry it seems this most important market for canned fruit will be

completely lost," Mr Lloyd said.

end COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY L IB R A R Y MICAH

19/9/91