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Check the facts, Mr Smith.

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Senator Russell Trood Liberal Senator for Queensland

Media Release

Senator Russell Trood Liberal Senator for Queensland

2 September 2008

Check the facts, Mr Smith

Queensland Liberal Senator, Russell Trood, has expressed surprise at the salvo launched against him by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Smith, after Senator Trood’s appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sun-day.

Senator Trood said that “while it is pleasing to see Mr Smith take up the national interest, he really should check the facts before attempting to score cheap political points”.

“Mr Smith appears to have construed my remarks, in relation to Mr Barak Obama’s presidential nomina-tion acceptance speech, as constituting a personal attack on Mr Obama and as likely to damage our rela-tions with the US. Nothing of the kind was intended”, Senator Trood said.

“Rather, I was making the point that the current political climate in America is likely to press both Presi-dential candidates to more protectionist positions on trade and that the new US Congress was likely to be more protectionist. This was conveniently ignored by Mr Smith,” said Senator Trood.

“The US ‘Farm Bill’ which channels huge subsidies to American farmers, was recently passed by two-thirds majorities in both Houses of Congress. It will operate to the detriment of many of America’s trading part-ners, including Australia.”

“Does Mr Smith object to me standing up for our national interests?”

“Is he not aware that even senior American trade officials are unhappy with this policy?”

“Does he not understand that rising protectionism is undermining the free trade principles of the WTO?”

“Does he not care that high farm subsidies are distorting global markets and restricting the access of un-developed countries to potentially lucrative markets in the developed world?”

“Mr Smith should resist the temptation to trespass on the portfolio responsibilities of his colleague, the Minister for Trade, Mr Crean, and concentrate on the very considerable challenges of the wider interna-tional arena” said Senator Trood.

Media Contact:

Senator Trood’s Office: Fraser Stephen 0417 622 488