Free trade the key to long-term growth in the North


Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said he is flabbergasted that the Parliamentarian representing the biggest and best beef and sugar producing electorate should be opposed to free trade agreements.

Senator Macdonald said despite the United States withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), it remains an extremely important agreement between another 11 of our major trading partners, representing immense value to Australia’s export market.

“The fortunes of primary producers across the country, especially here in the North, is linked inextricably to export earnings, which in turn are determined by the new opportunities that free trade agreements like the TPP are creating,” Senator Macdonald said.

“The livelihoods of primary producers across the North is dependent on establishing trade deals with other countries that will deliver international markets and future demand for our high quality exports.

“This is because Australia produces far more food and fibre than we use ourselves and we need to sell the surplus internationally to give our farmers a return.

“I simply cannot understand Mr Katter’s lack of interest in the markets needed by his cattle and sugar producers.

“Mr Katter may be influenced by unions representing manufacturing interests in Victoria because of the large donations these unions make to his campaigns, but I would have thought the interests of farmers, graziers and agricultural workers in Kennedy should take priority.

“They certainly do with me!!”

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