Malcolm Turnbull hopeful Donald Trump will change his mind on free trade

Baku, November 20 AZERTAC

US president-elect Donald Trump is not philosophically opposed to free trade and may even be persuaded to reverse his opposition to the giant Trans Pacific Partnership deal, according to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

According to Reuters, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Peru, Mr Turnbull said he remains as committed as ever to advancing free trade and open markets because they create jobs and economic growth.

In a speech in July, Mr Trump said: "There is no way to 'fix' the TPP. We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down."

Local critics say the TPP would give too much power to corporations at the expense of democratically elected governments.

"We have a vested interest in our goods and our services being able to access as many markets as possible.

"Free trade has delivered jobs in Australia, it drives jobs in Australia - right across the board - in services, tourism, education, professional services and of course in all of the goods exports. We are a massive exporter, massive trading nation, so we have a vested interest in opening up more markets.

Mr Turnbull said the government would continue to pursue less ambitious trade deals - including the so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with south-east Asian nations - while remaining committed to the TPP.

"Wherever we can open the door for Australian exports and create more Australian jobs we'll do it," he said.

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