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US eyes more FTAs

ABC News, Australia

US eyes more FTAs

12 January 2006

Australian wheat exports could face further challenge with the Bush administration eyeing possible free trade deals with Egypt, South Korea and Malaysia, and working on one with Thailand.

Barbara Spangler directs the US wheat industry’s trade promotion group, Wetec, and she says the last country list of possible US free trade deal partners will help answer Australian wheat competition especially in Asia.

"Australia is major competition there. They have already finished, and enacted, an FTA with Thailand and that put us, right now, at a $25 a ton differential, ... so, we need to get that FTA finished and that’s ongoing."

The Bush administration is under pressure to broker any trade deals, bilateral or global, before presidential trade deal authority expires in July next year and must be renewed.