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Australia, Japan hammer out FTA details

Australia Broadcasting Corporation | 9 November 2007

Australia, Japan hammer out FTA details

By North Asia correspondent Shane McLeod

Japan has again raised concerns about energy security and the viability of its agriculture industry in free trade talks with Australia.

Four days of talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have ended in Canberra with the issue of agriculture still one of the main points of contention.

Japan is arguing for special measures for its beef and rice farmers, pointing to the exemption of sugar from Australia’s free trade deal with the United States.

Australia has argued the drought is severely reducing agricultural capacity and that it does not pose a threat to Japanese farmers.

The talks also covered energy security, with consideration of how the agreement could guarantee supply of Australian exports without being seen as intervening in commercial markets.

 source: ABC