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Free Trade Agreement will benefit Australia.

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Sandy Macdonald The Nationals Senator for NSW 4 August 2004

Free Trade Agreement will benefit Australia

On the same day President of the United States of American George W Bush signed off on the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (US FTA) NSW Nationals Senator Sandy Macdonald spoke in support of it.

Legislation is today being debated in the Senate, which if passed will allow the FTA to come into effect.

“This has been one of the most exciting trade and economic developments for Australia during my time in the Senate and I think it is good for Australia and its people,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Australia producers five times more agricultural products than it can consume and trade is a vital tool for our economy. To open up the trade access between Australia and the United States - the largest market in the world -is good for both countries.”

Senator Macdonald said that safeguards are already in place to protect the likes of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the single desk arrangements for wheat and other commodities and media content.

“Labor is obstructing the signing of this agreement which will result in enormous benefits to Australian agricultural and manufacturing industries, as well as Australian exporters,” he said.

“To not sign this FTA will damage Australia because it will erode Australia’s competitive position in the United States market over time.”

“Independents and Labor are against this Free Trade Agreement - which is hard to understand because the initiative is in the best interests of Australia,” Senator Macdonald said.

Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 6277 3705 / 0427 570 506