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Signing of TPP a milestone for agriculture and food exporters

The recent 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 today could drive stronger profits to Australian agricultural and food producers.

“Today 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.

Grains and cereals: Tariffs on wheat (currently 67%) and barley (115%) into Mexico are being completely eliminated over 5–10 years.

Dairy: Tariffs reduced or eliminated on yoghurt into Mexico, and on a range of dairy products into the US and Canada. For Japan, TPP eliminates or reduces a range of tariffs (over 10-15 years), and with new quota allocations for cheese, butter, skim milk powder, ice cream, condensed milk, yoghurt and more, there are good prospects for our dairy exports to grow.

Wine: Existing high tariffs in Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico and Peru to be eliminated either on entry into force or shortly after. Exports of wine to these countries are significant already, with Canada taking $174 million worth in 2014. In total we export almost half our $1.9 billion worth of wine exports to TPP countries.

Horticulture: All tariffs on horticulture products entering Canada, and most tariffs going into Peru and Mexico will be eliminated on entry into force or shortly after.

Seafood: All Japanese, Vietnamese, Canadian, Peruvian and Mexican seafood tariffs will be eliminated on entry into force, or shortly after. Exports of rock lobster forecast to rise to $819 million in 2015–16—a rise of 123 per cent since 2010–11—a big portion of which goes to TPP countries like Vietnam and the US.

Cotton: All tariffs on Australian cotton exports to TPP countries—valued at $251 million in 2014—will be eliminated, most on entry into force. Tariffs on cotton to the US will be eliminated by 2023, in accordance with the timelines under AUSFTA.

Sugar: TPP delivers the first new quota access for sugar to the US in 20 years, with 65,000 tonnes added to our existing WTO quota of 87,000 tonnes plus a greater share of unallocated quota. There were also some positive outcomes into the important Japanese market with reduction of the levy on high polarity (raw) sugar.
Click for more information on the TPP Agreement