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NFF backs FTA despite export figures

NFF backs FTA despite export figures

Wednesday, 04/01/2006

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) is still backing the Australia-US free trade agreement, despite poor terms of trade in its first year of operation.

Australian exports to the United States fell by 4.7 per cent in the year to October, while US imports into Australia jumped by a similar amount.

Australia’s trade deficit with the US worsened by $1 billion.

But NFF president Peter Corish says Australian producers will need to be patient, to benefit from increased access to US markets.

"With the reduction and eventual elimination of tariffs generally between the two countries it should, in fact, be easier for companies to break into the US market," he said.

"Certainly in the citrus industry there is some evidence of that. A very small industry like olives there is some evidence of that as well. My experience with trade negotiations, and trade negotiation outcomes, is that nothing moves quickly."

 source: ABC