Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has strongly rejected suggestions that he would support measures in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations that could potentially harm Australia’s cattle herds.

Mr Robb described claims in The Australian that the TPP could result in Australian cattle being contaminated with mad cow disease through our lowering of biosecurity standards as absurd.

“Let me be clear, Australia’s robust biosecurity regime is based on the best of science and it is not up for negotiation in the TPP, full stop,” he said.

“Sadly, this is the latest round of scaremongering by people who are prepared to say or do anything to derail the negotiations and to deny Australia the benefits,” he said.

Mr Robb said if anything the TPP would restate WTO rules that provided for each country to determine its own level of science-based protection with regard to biosecurity.

“Australia has a reputation second to none when it comes to ‘clean, green and safe’ produce and that is something we are looking to further leverage through trade deals such as the TPP,” he said.

Mr Robb said to oppose the TPP is to deny Australian agriculture the opportunity to reach its full potential in the years and decades ahead.

“More seamless trade among 12 countries representing around 40 per cent of global GDP will help drive growth, create jobs and produce higher living standards for Australians,” he said. 

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