PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8668


Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 21/09/1992

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 8668

1. Prime M$ nister, what'i your reaction, it I could, st to the MaatfichtL. vote in
PM-I think, while a narrow mnajcuity, it'% a positive decision by the people of France.
which is of coUrse one of the major continental Furopean countries And it will
mean, T think. a more orderly sped, A more orderly transition to a unified Europe.
So it's very significant Wndit should be signiflant also In the finanCial markets for'
what is obviously a shorter termo upheaval of the last week or two, but in the long
run, this will have long run implications for the financial community.
i Was the decision rais. ed in discussions this morning with discussions with Mr
PM. Yes. Ithink in Jlapan they would prefer to see this happen. They regard it as a
positive thing, and again I think they share my view that it will see a more rapid
and more orderly transition to a unified Europe.
J: Should it also help to unlock the Uraguay Round?
P\ 1M T think it will have good psychological influences worldwide, in Europe The
Round is diffierent It has other connotations anid effects about it, but the Round is
just as important orcourse as thuis decision by rthe F'rench. But it's got to be, I
think, a bull point in markets and people generally concluding that progress is
being made in the development of a unified European mark~ et, and this can
probably have good influences on the GATT.
I. Mr Keating, did you get any indication this morning about what the Japanese
would like to ee the Blundesbank do on monetary policy!
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PM-No, I didn't. These things are all short term things and there's not a lot of point,
particularly, in me discussing short term movements in interest rates and things.
J. Comning to bilateral issues, this morning how did the talks go and what did you
PM-I think the overwhelming impression one has is the relaxed nature and friendliness
of discussions. I've just concluded quite a long mneeting with Mr Watanabe, the
Minister for International Trade and Industry, and Mr Nod&, from the Economic
Planninig Agency which puts the Budget together. They are very keen to get their
economy growing again, they are quite proud of their fiscal package, they think
they've done the right thing at the right time, and so do 1, 1 agree, as you know rye
made comments in Australia about that. There is a lot of flux in international trade
and international trade angements, and they're interested in our views, and I
think they're also interested in our cooperation and support which theyve just
experienced in the last week or so in APEC again, and they see us as a solid and
valuable friend.
1: What discussions about APEC. Prime Mnister?
PSI. There's an APEC meeting just corncluded. and again Australia and Japan have
played amongst others a leading role in those negotiations and discussions. I think
they attach considerable importance to APEC and to the role of countries in the
Asia-Paciflc area.
J: Did you raise any concerns about access for Australian products to Japan, Mr
PM; Yes. I raised a couple of bilateral issues. The first was about the Japanese
economy, economic influences around the wovid. And the second, about somne
bilateral matters the kiFP for instance, for which I had a very positive response.
further collaborative lhirigs in' Japan, the cooperation orMIT! arnd developing with
us at consulate , iystem in Japan which can advance the distribution and access by
Australian companies to the Japanese market. And Mr Watanabe gave me very
strons assurances about the suppot-t of NGTI, and that's confirmed by our offcials.
But also a good, valuable. 1; eneral discussion about international trade influences.
mnultilateral issues NAFTA_. the Huh and Spoke% proposal of President Bush in
Detroit, for bilateral trade arrangemients and what they mean. what Japan thinks of
them, how we should respond to them. And T made it clear that Australia would
not be part of any pact which damraged Japan's interests, and that we're seeking the
general conclusion of the ( 1ATT Pound as the best way of getting the psychology
right. So just as the French vote on Maastricht was important in getting
psychology tight, a conclusion of the GATT Round will get i he psychology right
On trade, and hopefully diminish whatever interests some Countries may have in
making bilateral arransements
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J Did they raise any concern about NArETA and the implivations that might have fo~ r
PM: No, except to say that they are determined to see that it is GATT friendly, that it
accords with GATT. and irt is truly a trade liberalising thing in GAIT terms, that
it accords with GATT, well then I think any objections Japan may have will be
I; What about the R~ ush proposal, what's their reiponse on that?
PM, I think they want t know more about that and it will depend on the details It
depends on whether or not we aire talking about bilateral ar-rangemnents between
the United States and sonie countries. The problem is, what is not known about it
at the monieni is that it may well be so that the Ulnited States can make a bilateral
Rgreement on trade between itself and sonic cout; Iries, but At the end of the
Spokes, while the Spokes may emanate rrom the hub of the United States it may
not induce open trade airangemrcnts between those countries at the end of the
Spokes That is, it may be suitable to the United States but whether it is generally
beneficial lo a group ofi countries would be Of COUrse only obvious when the details
If Any pArticular trade arrangement were revealed. So they are ' let's look and see'.
J Have you done anything to seek clarification of what Mr Flush's proposal does
involve, what its implications are for Australia?
PM: The Amnericans have been thinking about this, Mr Baker has talked about it at
some length, but again it comes in the flurry of an election campaign, it will only
have Ntatus in the hands of a new administration, so the sensible think is to inquire
but to wait and see.
J Prime ' 14triiter, on bilateral issues, did you raisie the concern that Australian
automotive car part manufacturers have about acce's09
PM: Yes, I asked Mfr Watanabe for an assorance that in any third party arrangements to
dimni~ sh trade imbhalances in Japan's ravour, that Australia was not a casualty of
any third party arrangemente. in teiim% OfO011 trade. And that assurance was
generally freely given.
J Did you talk about the reports that the Japanese are keen to see an Asia-Pacific
leaders sumimit and would that be part of APFC?
PM Nn hitil I'll he iplkino tn the Primer Minivetr Ahnitt thiit ti Aflrnnon and ITl vv
T Are you encouraged by the signals that have emnergedl
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PM-I've already had quite a positive leter from him about it, and ats you know there
haD alobun ionic other Adiv g~ v witlii jtt bul vutujay abut it which hats
cmanated in the prmit Ruit Again, on thete things what will matter is whait the
Prime Mirister says.
I. M1f T( g.-nuhgilict111 ' Ulis Lwvii : o b. it ulti; Y ruppuuu ) yuu uull it, In the debaic about
trade with Japait f mmiy in Australia. D~ id that come tip In any sense or in the
contexl of eiirli'r dkri~ aicnn% 7
PM. No it didnN~, and It was not for me to be raising that here. what matters here is the
continuity in the relationship and focussing on the things that mnatter rather than
any notes of discord in Australia.
J-But John Dawkins raised in Washington, he said that you notice that in Japan, he
criticised them in particular for their non tariff protection on trade. Did you
mention that at all in your talks?
PM-Nnn tariff harriers have been part of the debate for a decade or co, and thia wholo
proccio of uniffication ic an iscuo in the agriculture arcaof the CATT, and it willbe
one of tlie things that will need to, I* woidet vo ir we scitullny get a firm~
conclusion on agriculture.
When you gave your assurance that you wouldn't enter into any agreements that
would hurt Japan, was that in the contexct of the Huoh a" i Sjx-, kea?
PM: Generally.
3; And did the iapanmef. r ive any rri-. prewnl
PM. They take Australig nrml And they take Australia well. Tbcre'. i A lot of inter N
in this country in Australia and a lot of good will towards it find we should
undowotand that 4" d ' vatipe it. Th& AA yeu.
1. Thank you Prime Minister.'
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Transcript 8668