TPP and Joyce seeking fairness for farmers: Irony not lost on anybody, says Katter

Bob Katter MP
Bob Katter MP

12 June 2015: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has responded to comments by the Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce on radio this morning that he would not sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement until there was a good deal for farmers – saying the irony was not lost on him nor his constituents.

The details of the TPP have been shrouded in secrecy and full details of the TPP agreement will not be released until after it has been signed off by the Government, meaning there is no room for change.

“Barnaby makes all these noises all the time and they never come to anything, they never bear any benefit for our farmers,” Mr Katter said.

“We’d support him strongly if there was going to be a better deal for farmers, but if there’s anything in the TPP that’s beneficial to anybody, then I’d be shocked.

“The free trade deals to date have drawn a big fat zero for Australia.

“It’s silly even talking about it, we’ve got nothing to barter, we already have no barriers whatsoever.

“We don’t restrict anything from coming into Australia, there’s no subsidies, there’s no tariffs, there’s no embargos on anything.

“America has embargos on sugar, they’re still there after the last Free Trade Agreement; they have embargos on dairy product, and they’re still there as well.

“The Americans wanted two things, they wanted to break the powers of the Pharmaceutical Board in Australia and they wanted to break our quarantine restrictions, which they did with the American Free Trade Agreements.

“We wanted access for our dairy and sugar farmers and quite frankly we got wiped like a dirty rag – it will be the same again here.

“And it’s silly talking about cattle, as in fairness to the Americans they never had any restrictions on cattle.

“Barnaby tells us he won’t agree to the TPP unless it’s a better deal for farmers, well tell us what’s in it.

“The irony here is not lost on anybody Barnaby,” Mr Katter said.