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Facts versus myths about international trade and investment.



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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media release

Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile

EMBARGOED: 4pm, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 

Facts Versus Myths About International Trade and Investment

Myth:   Tariffs protect local jobs.

Fact:    Over the last 20 years tariffs in Australia have halved while overall employment has almost doubled.

Trade Minister Mark Vaile today launched a new publication, Exploding the Myths: Facts about Trade and International Investment, aimed at debunking common myths about the impact of trade and investment liberalisation

The booklet takes the remarkable step of injecting facts into the debate.

Mr Vaile told a NSW Farmers Federation conference that approximately 1.7 million jobs in Australia are reliant on exports of Australian goods and services.

“The benefits of increased trade and investment for Australia have meant more job opportunities, growth in exports and less expensive business inputs,” Mr Vaile said.

“Reduced barriers in overseas markets have helped Australian firms tap into a global market of almost six billion consumers.

“Australia’s exports have increased by an average of 8.5 per cent per year for the last 10 years.  One in five Australian jobs relies on exports - in rural and regional Australia, that figure is one in four jobs.”

Exploding the Myths: Facts about Trade and International Investment , produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is a booklet that provides concise responses to the most frequently heard myths about trade and investment policy. 

“It shows, for example, how tariffs have been unable to protect jobs, and the many benefits Australia has gained from its participation in the World Trade Organisation.  The booklet explains why Australia needs foreign investment for economic growth and it provides some basic facts about globalisation.

“While we recognise there can be difficulties which need to be managed, the whole international trade experience is about adapting to changing circumstances, learning new skills and being more creative,” Mr Vaile said.

“A significant challenge in this process is discerning which information is reliable and which is not - sorting the myth from reality.  This booklet contributes significantly by providing straight-forward facts to 10 common myths.”

The booklet can be obtained free from DFAT by calling 02 6261 3221, emailing

eugene.olim@dfat.gov.au or from the DFAT website at www.dfat.gov.au/publications/exploding_myths .

Media Contact: James Baker on 0418 273 475

MVT103/2001

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