Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Car buyers strike skews trade figures.

Car Buyers Strike Skews Trade Figures


Peter Cook - Shadow Minister For Trade


Media Statement - 22 February 2000


The slight fall in Australia's quarterly trade deficit is entirely due to the pre-GST new car buyers' strike, Shadow Trade Minister, Senator Peter Cook, said today.


"In the December 1999 quarter, the trade deficit was $195 million better than in the September quarter," Senator Cook said.


"However, imports of passenger motor vehicles fell by $193 million from September to December.


"Our trade situation isn't getting any better - Australians just aren't buying cars until July.


"If Trade Minister Mark Vaile wants to make a real dent in our trade deficit, he could try:


• Engaging in some serious trade diplomacy to re-start broadly based negotiations in the WTO;

• Devising a plan to rescue APEC from the hole it has been in since 1996;

• Considering a variety of free trade agreements, such as the Pacific 5, which includes the United States, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Australia


"It's going to take more than some statistical sleight of hand to convince Australians that the GST will be good for exports," Senator Cook concluded.


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.