Transcript, E&OE

14 June 2018

JOURNALIST:             What is your reaction to what has happened overnight with Donald Trump?

JULIE BISHOP:           In relation to the trade issue with China, this is clearly a bilateral matter between the United States and China, however Australia will continue to advocate for free and open trade and investment.  We believe that any trade disputes should be resolved amicably and if they cannot be resolved bilaterally then the parties should resort to the existing rules – that is through the World Trade Organisation.

JOURNALIST:             This sort of tit-for-tat behaviour, though, do you find it concerning?

JULIE BISHOP:           Yes it is of concern and Australia will continue to advocate for free and open trade and investment, because that is of great benefit to our country. Free trade has benefitted the world. It is a position that we have made very clearly to our American friends and we will continue to promote free and open trade and investment.

JOURNALIST:             Just lastly, what are you hoping to achieve at today’s Federal Council? What do you think will be a good outcome for the party?

JULIE BISHOP:           A good outcome is always when we have a robust debate about a whole range of policy issues and people respect each other’s views but we do canvass all of the challenges and opportunities that Australia faces. The Liberal Party is a policy powerhouse, we are the party of ideas, and this is the opportunity for us to debate those ideas.