Strengthening Australia’s trade ties in the UK and France
This week, I will travel to the United Kingdom and France to advocate for Australia’s trade interests and reinforce the Australian Government’s support for the rules-based multilateral trading system.
Travelling to London a week after the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement entered into force, I will promote the benefits of the historic agreement with our twelfth largest trading partner.
The Free Trade Agreement reflects the Albanese Government’s commitment to diversifying markets and products, immediately eliminating UK tariffs on Australian industrial goods including auto parts, electrical equipment and a range of processed food products.
While there, I will attend the Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ Meeting where I will advance Australia’s trade interests and seek to coordinate joint efforts to support the multilateral trading system and build momentum in the leadup to the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in early 2024.
The Commonwealth Trade Ministers’ meeting, the first in four years, will progress important trade issues ahead of the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa.
I look forward to having discussions with my Commonwealth ministerial counterparts from Pacific island countries.
In France, I will join Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Ministerial Council Meeting and the annual Australian-chaired Informal Gathering of WTO Ministers.
During these forums, we will prosecute the case for free, open and rules-based global trade, strengthening the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core in Australia’s national interest and building the case for the removal of environmentally harmful and distortionary agricultural subsidies.
Last year, the Australian Government committed $2 million to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism to support developing and least-developed countries to implement the landmark Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.
I am keen to take the opportunity to engage with Commonwealth and Pacific island countries to strengthen the entry-into-force and implementation work associated with this vital initiative.
Pacific nations have long argued for an end to harmful fisheries subsidies, which contribute to the issue of over-fishing, food insecurity and declining global fish stocks.
Australia is determined to play its part in weaning the world off distortionary agricultural subsidies in pursuit of more sustainable food production.
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