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NFF Statement on US Presidential Election

9 November 2016

Any move away from more open markets and towards protectionism can only have a negative impact on Australian farmers, the President of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), Brent Finlay said today.

“With the US Presidential election now called for Donald Trump, any move by the new administration to implement protectionist measures is of concern to Australian farmers.

“Australia exports over 70% of what we produce, so any trade damaging measures such as increases in tariffs, reductions in import quotas or increases in US domestic subsidies will hurt Australian farmers and other exporting nations.

“The US is a major partner in trade and investment and we trust that the strength of our relationship will place us in good stead going forward.

“Australia must not give up the substantial gains that come from trade and opening up new markets. More trade liberalisation of markets means more growth, innovation and investment and that is consistent with the future of agriculture.

“We do however understand that voting trends around the world suggest that governments must do more to better manage the impacts of trade liberalisation and technological transformation, particularly where people are challenged by or do not fairly share in the outcomes of that change.

“With a TPP ratification increasingly unlikely, our attention will shift to other negotiations such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the next round of WTO negotiations to salvage any gains forgone.

“The NFF is this week chairing a meeting of the Cairns Group Farm Leaders in Geneva where the focus is squarely on building momentum for substantial improvements in market access.

“In this forum and others the NFF will continue to advocate long and loud for further trade reform and will assess with our members and in discussion with the government where the outcome of the US election leaves our long term trade objectives.”

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