Enhanced transparency for free trade agreement negotiations

  • Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator for South Australia
  • The Hon Andrew Gee MP, Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Federal Member for Calare

    The Morrison Government has today announced it will establish a Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) to help inform the Government’s ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) agenda.

    Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the MAC would form an important part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to enhancing transparency around FTA negotiations.

    “This forum brings together a broad cross-section of business, industry and community representatives with trade expertise to help inform Australia’s negotiations and policies going forward,” Minister Birmingham said.

    “Our commitment to free trade and open markets continues to play a major role in our strong position that has seen Australia record 28 consecutive monthly trade surplus in a row.

    “With our free trade agreement negotiations with the UK starting today, and our ongoing negotiations with the EU, this forum will provide an important opportunity to hear the views of experts from industry and consumer groups.

    “The MAC will also build on existing consultative processes for our FTA’s which includes ongoing stakeholder engagement programs, complementing the important work of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.”

    Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Gee said the establishment of the MAC would help inform the Government’s work to deliver free trade agreements for Australian farmers and businesses.

    “The Government has a strong record of delivering high-quality FTAs that drive export opportunities, economic prosperity and job creation, especially in country Australia. This is a record we are proud of and want to continue to see grow,” Minister Gee said.

    “In these challenging times, it is critical that Australian exporters, especially those impacted by the recent drought and bushfires, take full advantage of the opportunities available under these FTAs. At the same time, we must draw upon our business community and their diverse perspectives.

    “The MAC will provide a mechanism that enables us to build upon and strengthen our engagement with a range of businesses and community leaders, stretching from the cities to our country towns, to ensure that all Australians no matter where they live benefit from our growing FTA agenda,” Minister Gee said.

    Minister Birmingham and Ms Christine Holgate will co-chair the Committee. The first meeting will be held next month and it’s expected the Committee will convene at least twice a year.

    Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC) Members

    NameTitle, Organisation
    Senator the Hon Simon BirminghamFederal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
    The Hon Andrew Gee MPMinister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment
    Mr Tony BattagleneChief Executive, Australian Grape and Wine
    Ms Laura BerryChief Executive Officer, Supply Nation
    Mr James BondPresident, Australian Services Roundtable
    Mr Gerard BrodyChair, Consumers’ Federation of Australia
    Ms Kate Carnell, AOAustralian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
    Ms Tania Constable, PSMChief Executive Officer, Minerals Council of Australia
    Prof. Andrew Conway, FIPA FFAChief Executive Officer, Institute of Public Accountants
    Ms Bridget Fair, GAICDChief Executive Officer, Free TV Australia
    Mr Scott FarrellPartner, King & Wood Mallesons
    Mr Kevin GallagherChair, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
    Ms Christine HolgateGroup CEO and Managing Director, Australia Post
    Ms Veronica PapacostaActing Chief Executive Officer, Seafood Industry Australia
    Mrs Fiona SimsonPresident, National Farmers Federation
    Mr Andrew StolerInternational Trade Consultant
    Mr Jason StrongManaging Director, Meat and Livestock Australia
    Ms Jacqui Walshe BBS, MBA, GAICDDeputy Chair, Australian Tourism Export Council
    Mr Dan WaltonNational Secretary, The Australian Workers’ Union
    Prof. Paul Wellings, CBEVice Chancellor, University of Wollongong

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