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Australia says trade pact would benefit EU in Indo-Pacific amid submarine deal fallout By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO (File photo) The Royal Australian Navy’s Collins class submarine HMAS Waller passes through a Rivercat ferry as it departs Sydney Harbour on May 4, 2020. The Australian government has considered extending the life of the Collins class as it examines

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – An Australian-EU trade deal would be mutually beneficial and allow EU members a greater presence in the Indo-Pacific, said Australia’s trade minister, as Canberra tries to repair ties with Paris after the scrapping of a $40 billion submarine deal.

Australia cancelled its agreement with France’s Naval Group for the construction of a fleet conventional submarines. Instead, it will build eight submarines powered by nuclear technology with U.S.- and British technology. This was after a trilateral security partnership between those two countries.

France was furious at the cancellation and retorted to Washington and Canberra with its ambassadors.

EU lawmakers publicly asked if a trade deal could be made with Australia in solidarity with France.

The EU was urged Wednesday by Dan Tehan (Australia’s Minister For Trade) to move forward with a trade arrangement.

Tehan stated that the Australia-EU FTA was in all of everyone’s best interests in Canberra.

The EU will make use of it to increase its engagement with Indo-Pacific as they realize that this region has the largest economic impact in the world.

Australia and EU plan to meet for the next round on trade negotiations on October 12.

Australia hopes that the talks will go ahead. However, the anger in New York was evident when Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, dispelled a senior EU lawmaker with pleasantries while speaking to him.

In a bilateral meeting held in New York, Charles Michel, President of the European Council said that transparency and loyalty were fundamental principles for building stronger partnerships and alliances.

Morrison will be in America to participate in the quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which is made up of India Japan the United States, Australia, and Japan. It takes place later this week.

Morrison met in New York with President Joe Biden of the United States, but he said he wouldn’t be able meet with President Emmanuel Macron.

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