The signing of the agreed text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the next step forward towards advancing opportunities for Australian agriculture and food exporters in a landmark regional trade agreement covering some of the world’s largest economies.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the gains solidified could drive stronger profits to Australian agricultural and food producers.
“We’re a step closer to the benefits that will flow from the world’s largest ever regional trade agreement—an agreement including five of our top 10 trading partners,” Minister Joyce said.
“These countries represent 25 per cent of world trade, 36 per cent of the global economy and around a third of our agriculture exports—and this agreement gives us preferential access that will have real, tangible outcomes for exporters of most of our main export commodities.
Minister Joyce said the TPP was the latest in a string of trade deals signed by the Australian Government that were cutting tariffs and opening new opportunities for agricultural and food producers.
“The agreements with Korea, Japan and China are delivering real returns and we’re now working toward bilateral agreements with India and Indonesia—two important trading partners where demand for agricultural and food products is set to boom in the coming decades,” Minister Joyce said.
“At the same time, we are working hard to pursue improved technical market access. Tariff reductions and eliminations are essential but we also need to achieve technical market access to translate FTA outcomes into real opportunities.”
The Coalition has also delivered on its $30.8 million Ag White Paper commitment to establish five new overseas agricultural counsellors to give Australian producers better access to premium overseas markets, tackle technical barriers to trade and expand into emerging markets while maintaining and strengthening Australia’s position in existing markets. This takes the total number of overseas agricultural counsellors from 12 to 17.
The five new agricultural counsellors have now commenced their postings in Vietnam, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China and Thailand, and substantially strengthen Australia’s existing overseas agricultural counsellor network in key markets based in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Jakarta, Bangkok, New Delhi, Washington, Rome, Brussels and Dubai.
The 12 TPP parties comprise: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, NZ, Singapore, USA and Vietnam.
Key TPP outcomes
Beef: Japan’s tariff on both chilled and frozen beef imports will be reduced from 38.5 per cent to 9 per cent over 15 years, and Canada (currently 25.6 per cent), Mexico (25 per cent) and Peru (17 per cent) will eliminate all tariffs on beef over 10 years.
Lamb: Tariffs on exports to Mexico—a $22 million market in 2014—will be eliminated within 8 years. Any tariffs on sheepmeat in other TPP markets will be eliminated on entry into force.