MELBOURNE: The Australian Government will oppose a
Liberal-National Party coalition-supported anti-trade Private Member’s
Bill on compulsory palm oil labelling as it would breach Australia’s
obligations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Minister Dr Craig Emerson told Parliament on Tuesday, the Bill,
sponsored by independent Senator Nick Xenophon and the Australian
Greens, was likely to pass the House of Representatives with the support
of the coalition.
Emerson said the Bill passed the Senate
following the personal intervention of coalition leader Tony Abbott, who
is widely tipped to be Australia’s next prime minister.
members of the relevant Senate inquiry joined with Labor senators in
recommending against the Bill, but their position was reversed following
Abbott’s personal intervention,” he said.
latest anti-trade move by the coalition comes hard on the heels of the
Shadow Agriculture Minister’s Bill seeking to overturn a WTO ruling that
New Zealand apples be allowed into Australia subject to
scientifically-based quarantine conditions,” he said.
said the government refused to deal with the coalition on the apples
Bill and would not negotiate with Abbott on the palm oil Bill.
wants to load up food processing companies with a A$150 million (RM468
million) cost burden and risk a trade war with Malaysia and Indonesia,”
He said Abbott’s personal support for yet another
anti-trade, anti-business Bill showed how reckless he was on economic
and trade policy.
Both Malaysia and Indonesia had warned they would take action against Australia at the WTO if the Bill were passed. – Bernama
Source: Business Times