The Gillard Government welcomed the release today of the Productivity Commission's report on Australia's bilateral and regional trade agreements.
The report, commissioned in November 2009 by the then Trade Minister Simon Crean and former Assistant Treasurer Nick Sherry, contains a series of detailed recommendations and findings which the Government will examine closely.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson said the government was committed to trade liberalisation as an integral component of the Gillard Government's overall economic reform program aimed at creating high-skill, high-wage jobs and prosperity.
Dr Emerson last week announced a review of Australia's future trade policy framework. It is expected to be released around the end of the first quarter of 2011.
“The Productivity Commission's report will provide valuable input into the review, as will the views of academics, trade unions and business organisations,” Dr Emerson said.
He said that many of the conclusions reached in the review were similar to those set out in his trade policy speech to the Lowy Institute on 10 December.
Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten noted the strong public engagement in the review, with more than 100 submissions received from a broad range of stakeholders, including business, government, academia and the community sector.
“The report and the diverse variety of submissions reveal the complexity of the issues and highlight the range of differing views which exist in the community,” he said.
The report can be found on the Productivity Commission website.
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