TRADE Minister Steven Ciobo has unveiled details of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) showing enhanced tariff cuts for Australian agricultural products like beef and dairy in major export markets.
Mr Ciobo released the text today which underpins the TPP-11 - minus the US which withdrew under Donald Trump’s administration - and he says the trade agreement will now be signed in Santiago, Chile, on March 8.
After that, the text and a National Interest Analysis will be tabled in the federal parliament and the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will conduct a public examination of the new agreement and report back to parliament.
An agreement was reached between the remaining 11 TPP countries in late January – a move praised by Australian farming groups to enhance access and remove barriers into major export markets like Japan, while gaining an advantage over the US.
Mr Ciobo said the TPP-11 would help create new Australian jobs across all sectors like agriculture but also in manufacturing, mining and services, “as it creates new opportunities in a free trade area that spans the Americas and Asia”.
He said the Turnbull government played a leadership role in securing the landmark agreement which eliminated more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a combined GDP of $13.7 trillion.
“As tariffs tumble, the TPP-11 will drive demand for Australian goods and services, helping create new Australian jobs,” he said.
“The TPP-11 delivers significant increases in market access for Australian goods and services, most notably improved access to the Japanese market for a number of our agricultural products.
“The deal also creates Australia’s first free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, giving Australian exporters preferential access to two of the world’s top 20 economies.”
Significant wins for Australian exporters under the TPP-11 include:
- beef: Japan will accelerate reductions in its tariffs; Canada and Mexico will eliminate their tariffs within 10 years of entry into force;
- wine: Canada will eliminate tariffs;
- dairy: Japan will eliminate a range of tariffs on cheese, covering over $100 million of trade not covered by JAEPA. Mexico and Canada will implement new quotas for cheese, milk powders and butter; Canadian tariffs on milk protein concentrates will be eliminated on entry into force; Mexico will eliminate tariffs on yoghurt;
- sheepmeat: all tariffs will be eliminated;
- sugar: tariffs will be eliminated for high polarity sugar exports to Japan;
- rice: new access to the Japanese market has been secured for the first time in over 20 years; Mexico will eliminate its tariff.
Mr Ciobo said the TPP-11 would also create new opportunities for Australian services exports which were worth more than $18b in 2016-17, to countries involved in the deal
He said the agreement would also assist Australian businesses tap into regional value chains by liberalising and improving the regulatory regimes for investment in a number of countries, notably in mining and resources, telecommunications and financial services.
The agreement explicitly retains the government’s authority to regulate foreign investment in sensitive sectors in the national interest, he said.
“The Turnbull government wants to see this landmark agreement enter into force as soon as possible so Australian farmers, businesses and manufactures can enjoy its benefits,” he said.
The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes the release of the TPP-11 text ahead of the signing of the agreement in Chile on March 08.
National Farmers' Federation (NFF) CEO Tony Mahar said his group had been a “staunch advocate “for the TPP since its inception and today’s release of the text was “an important step” towards TPP-11 coming to fruition.
Mr Mahar said the TPP-11 represented benefits for farmers across the board, including for beef, sheep meat, sugar, dairy, rice, grain and wine.
“As an exporting nation, access to new markets for our agricultural commodities and other products and services is central to Australia’s economic success,” he said.
“New opportunities for our farmers, manufacturers and exporters underpin job creation and economic growth right across our economy.
“On the whole, there is no doubt the TPP-11 will improve trading conditions for Australia’s farm sector.
“Advancements like this are critical if we are to reach our vision of a $100 billion farm sector by 2030.
“On behalf of the farm sector, we extend our gratitude to Trade Minister Steve Ciobo for his tireless commitment to Australia’s role in the TPP and now TPP-11.
“We also welcome the Parliament’s bipartisan approach to trade – trade is too important to our nation for it to be subject to partisan politics.”
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