Australian farmers became more competitive exporters into China and Korea as of January 1 with 5418 tariffs on exports to China alone eliminated in the latest round of cuts as part of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
There are also tariffs cuts into South Korea as part of the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
The cuts are the fifth round of tariff elimination under ChAFTA and the sixth round under KAFTA.
Highlights for the Aussie ag sector include the removal of bottled wine tariffs into the lucrative and rapidly growing Chinese market and a tariff reduction on lamb exports to Korea.
Federal minister for trade, tourism and investment Simon Birmingham said the latest round of tariff cuts would build on the substantial economic benefits these two major agreements had already delivered for Australian exporters.
“China and Korea are two of our largest trading partners, and these tariff reductions will provide a significant boost for Australian businesses looking for export opportunities into these markets,” Mr Birmingham said.
He said it was a massive win for Aussie exporters to China, given it is the largest buyer of Aussie goods.
“With Australian goods exports to China already totalling $106 billion, this latest round of cuts means Australian exporters have an even greater competitive edge in the Chinese market,” he said.
Mr Birmingham said trade had contributed over one-quarter of Australia economic growth over the past five years, and these agreements, delivered by the Liberal-National Government, were yielding results with Australia having recorded trade surpluses for 21 of the last 24 months.