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VIC Premier to fight protectionism

VIC Premier to fight protectionism article image
Victorian Premier John Brumby says he will fight union pressure to impose trade protectionist measures at this week's ALP conference. Brumby criticised the union movement, the state of New South Wales and the USA for resorting to protectionism, saying the backlash would be damaging to international trade. He said Victoria would not follow NSW's lead to give local businesses a 20 percent advantage: "We strongly oppose that. I have never been a protectionist. It's not what we have put in place in Victoria and I don't believe it's the way to generate jobs, opportunities and growth in the future." The union movement aims to protect jobs, but Brumby says its best to keep the market open: "If you want more growth opportunities in the future, more job opportunities in the future, the answer to that is not to put up trade barriers around Australia and around other countries." He warned that Australia had a lot to lose if we played the protectionist game. "The more you put up barriers in Australia, blanket across-the-board barriers, the more you invite retaliation from other countries," said Brumby.

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