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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr McEWEN - We all know the concern of the honorable member for the dried vine fruits industry. Dried vine fruits are one of the important items of export trade which are at some measure of risk because our sales to the United Kingdom are conducted under the benefit of a preferential tariff and our sales to Canada and other important markets command quite an important preferential tariff. In Canada preference is equivalent to about 20 per cent. If the Kennedy Round were completely successful as conceived, in the United Kingdom and Canada our tariff advantage over our foreign competitors would be cut in half and we would be disadvantaged. If that happened, being disadvantaged by the halving of the tariff advantage that we not only have enjoyed but also have paid for, we would be entitled to ask other countries to give us some compensating advantage within the tariff field. What that could be I cannot explore. If the Kennedy Round were not completely successful and if the other countries did not cut all their tariffs in half, I would ask them to exempt from any 'tariff cut certain items of trade which are important to Australia. Dried vine fruits obviously are among the items of trade that ought to be considered.

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