Blog: Chris Brook-CarterTrading places

Chris Brook-Carter | 10 August 2004

Just got off the 'phone to our Australian correspondent Tony Baker after a good chat about free trade and the recent trade agreement between Australia and the US.

He believes the Australian wine industry is unimpressed with the agreement which is due to be ratified by Parliament in Canberra this week, despite officially supporting the pact.

In practice, he says, the Aussie industry is underwhelmed because most of the promised benefits will not be apparent until 2015 as tariff cuts will be phased in over 11 years.

No less practically, Australian wine exports to the US are already booming to the extent that it has become the biggest market by value, a total of A$908m (US$644m).

Rather than tariffs and quotas, Australian producers are more concerned with the Californian grape glut and the complexities of the US state-based distribution system.


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