A fresh round of tariff cuts will come into effect from January 1, 2020, under some key free trade deals struck with China, Korea and across the Pacific.
Minister for Agriculture Senator Bridget McKenzie said the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which came into force in December 2015, continued to deliver for Australia's meat, dairy, wine, seafood and horticultural sectors.
"Since ChAFTA came into force, agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry exports have increased by 60 per cent from $9.9 billion in 2014-15 to $15.9 billion in 2018-19," said Minister McKenzie.
"On 1 January 2020 remaining tariffs on key commodities will reduce further, including beef tariffs falling to 4.8-10 per cent depending on the cut, while China's import quota for our beef will increase 3 per cent from 174,454 tonnes in 2019 to 179,687 tonnes, in a New Year win for our producers and exporters.
"ChAFTA will also see tariffs lowered on dairy products such as milk, milk powder, butter and yoghurt, while our horticulture growers will have an opportunity to build on the record 2018-19 export peak of $3.4 billion with tariffs on oranges and mandarins both falling.
"These reductions follow the most successful export season Australian citrus growers and exporters have had with industry estimating that over 273,000 tonnes worth over $500 million of citrus was exported to China in the 2019 season."
The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement will also deliver benefits when the seventh round of tariff reductions come into effect.
"Improved outcomes across a range of key commodities, including beef, lamb, barley, cheese and mangoes will help to protect and improves our competitive position in Korea, helping ensure Australian farmers and businesses have access to prosperous markets into the future," the Minister said.
Under KAFTA, beef exports to Korea totalled $1.37 billion in 2018, up 24 per cent from 2017.
Lamb exports totalled $133 million in 2018, up 26 per cent from 2017 while cheese exports totalled $51 million in 2018, up 73 per cent from pre-KAFTA, with opportunity to expand this relationship further for many commodities.
"The Pacific-spanning Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will also deliver benefits with a further round of tariff reductions in Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam," Minister McKenzie said.
"For example, under the CPTPP a 6.6 per cent tariff for high quality wine will fall to zero in 2020, potentially putting more Australian wine onto shelves in one of Latin America's fastest growing economies. And Australia dairy exports to Canada will also benefit from another increase in Canada's quota for tariff free exports of dairy products including whole milk powder.
"These reductions are the result of years of international negotiations and underpin the profitability of our farmers and the prosperity of our regional and rural areas."
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
The CPTPP entered into force on 30 December 2018 for five of the first six parties that ratified it: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, and Singapore and for Japan in April 2019.
For Vietnam, the agreement entered into force on 14 January 2019. Exporters have received two tariff reductions for each of the countries in which the agreement has entered into force.
On 1 January 2020, a further round of tariff reductions will occur in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam. (The third round of tariff reductions in Japan will occur on 1 April 2020.)
The major traded commodities in the South East Asia region that are subject to tariff rate changes at 1 January 2020, fall under either AANZFTA or TAFTA. The major traded commodities and the changes in tariff rates are listed below.
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