Australia, EU say trade deal likely years away after rejecting terms

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Australia has rejected European Union proposals for a free trade agreement, and a deal is now unlikely to be reached for several years, Australian government ministers said.

Australia’s agriculture minister, Murray Watt, said the EU – one of the world’s largest markets – had only slightly tweaked the proposal it put on the table three months ago.

“We just weren’t able to see the EU increase its offer for things like beef, sheep, dairy, sugar, enough for us to think that this deal was in Australia’s national interest,” he told ABC Radio.

EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis said the bloc had “presented a commercially meaningful agricultural market access offer to Australia, while being mindful of the interests of the European agricultural sector”.

via Reuters

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