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Howard's trade ambitions threat to world economy.



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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

3.02.04

Howard's trade ambitions threat to world economy

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today endorsed the comments of World Bank president James Wolfensohn who has criticised the pursuit of bilateral trade deals such as the US/Australia Free Trade Agreement as bad for the world economy.

"The demise of the FTA this week will not only be a good for Australia, it will be good for the sustainability of the global trading system," Senator Nettle said.

Mr Wolfensohn who visits Australia this week was reported today as saying; "It would be a tragedy, I think, if the world fragmented into regional trade arrangements because it leaves people out,"

"The Greens support the pursuit of multilateral trade deals that respect rigorous environmental, cultural and social standards. Such trade agreements provide a way forward to a more sustainable and just world economy.

"The Prime Minister's eagerness to jump into bed with the US's bilateral trade agenda has been exposed by the World Bank? as economically reckless.

"Australia's Trade Minister would best serve our long term interests by returning home without signing a deal and busying himself with the task of introducing environmental and social elements to the substance of multilateral trade talks."

Contact Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146