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Time for more than just talk on trade.



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Fri, 30th May 2008 TIME FOR MORE THAN JUST TALK ON TRADE

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Shadow Minister for Trade (to 22 September 2008)

Trade Minister Simon Crean must deliver more than just talk when he travels to Peru, the United States and France to take part in international meetings on the WTO Doha round, Shadow Minister for Trade Ian Macfarlane said.

''For the past six months Mr Crean has painted an image of himself as the saviour of the Doha world trade negotiations.

''But Australian exporters, businesses and farmers are yet to see any evidence of what all his grand talk has achieved.

''Since being sworn into office this is the Trade Minister's sixth overseas trip in which he has claimed to be advancing the Doha round.

''But each time, despite trumpeting his departure, Mr Crean has offered little evidence on his return about what his international jaunts are delivering for Australia.

''It is important for Australian exporters to have a strong voice at this crucial stage of the multilateral talks, but Mr Crean is following the lead of the Prime Minister and seems to prefer spin to getting down to the detail on trade.

''Already this week Mr Crean has shown himself to be more interested in accepting glory rather than putting in the hard yards, by taking credit for the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement - which was initiated and negotiated by the previous Coalition Government.

''Mr Crean, Australian exporters and businesses aren't interested in chest-thumping, they simply need someone who will be a determined and unrelenting advocate of their interests.

''Time is running out for Mr Crean to get serious and focus on real outcomes for Australian exporters under the Doha round, not just press releases.''