Trump urges tough trade negotiations

29 Sep, 2011 06:00 AM
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US businessman Donald Trump has urged Australia to negotiate hard in trade deals with China.
US businessman Donald Trump has urged Australia to negotiate hard in trade deals with China.

US billionaire businessman Donald Trump has told Australia to "screw" China by raising its commodity prices.

Mr Trump was speaking at a motivational talk at a business seminar on a one-day visit to Sydney and told the audience Australia needed to be tough negotiators.

"I say raise your prices," Mr Trump said.

"You really screw them on the sale of raw materials.

"They need you badly. You have all the cards."

Mr Trump said Australia was in a position of power and needed to take advantage of it.

Mr Trump told Channel 10 prior to the event that he still had a dream to be US president and said he could run as an independent.

He said if he did get the top job he would "come down hard on China".

"China is ripping us (off) and they are probably ripping you (Australia) off you just don't know about it," he said.

"You are selling your commodities to them too cheap and China is really ripping everything they touch.

"We have politicians that are close to incompetent and they don't know how to deal with the problem and the problem would be very easy to deal with.

"We need to tax Chinese products."

WAFarmers president Mike Norton said he didn't agree with Mr Trump's terminology but said Australia needed to be tougher negotiators to get the best possible price for Australia.

"China is one of our biggest trading partners and trading partners need to work together to make sure there is a deal which is satisfactory for both parties," Mr Norton said.

"We (Australia) are very internationally innocent in this country.

"We have changed the tariffs and the laws which govern trade in and out of this country and we probably deserve what we get.

"But the only way you can really survive or prosper in an environment like this is by being a tough negotiator."

He said Australia should not just roll over and sell the commodities cheap because it will get hurt further down the track but admitted he couldn't blame China for buying it cheap.

"What we are saying is that we need to negotiate very hard with the Chinese," he said.

"I have negotiated with the Chinese before and always taken a strong line and they respect that, but if you just roll over and sell it cheap just to get their trade then it's your own fault and you can't blame the Chinese for that."

Mr Norton said he wasn't in a position to comment on gas and iron ore but the wool industry was a perfect example.

"We sold wool to the Chinese cheaply for so many years," he said.

"But they bought the wool fair and square.

"But what we (Australia) have done is we have pulled all the systems down to try and create a level playing field for us, be it wool, dairy, grain or anything, we are at the behest of the international market place now.

"We have just got to wear that on the nose and what we can negotiate and some of our negotiators are not strong enough and need to be stronger."

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