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Where is the evidence Prime Minister?

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Federal Labor Shadow Minister for Trade

15 March 2005

Where is the evidence Prime Minister?

On ABC Radio today, the Prime Minister finally admitted that Australia has a weakness on our trade account although he pretends it is only temporary.

It is not.

• Australia has recorded 39 monthly trade deficits in a row.

• Net exports have not contributed to Australia’s economic growth for more than 3½ years.

• Export growth under the Howard Government is less than half that achieved by Labor.

• Australia is now running its largest ever current account deficit at 7.1 per cent of GDP.

Without doubt this is the worst trade performance in Australia’s history. It is not temporary. Where is the evidence that it is?

Where is the evidence that Australia’s trade performance will soon improve?

The Treasury has already revised down by half - from 8 per cent to 4 per cent - its export growth forecast for this year?

When asked to outline his case in the Parliament today, the Prime Minister said it was based on his belief there is evidence around that later in the year there will be an improvement in our exports.

But he still offered no evidence and Treasury’s forecasts suggests otherwise.

Be honest Prime Minister and show us the evidence.

Australia’s woeful trade performance is endemic and is a long term failure of the Howard Government’s trade policy.

Contact: David Garner 02 6277 4911 04 004 124 04