National Farmers' Federation

NFF welcomes TPP signing, urges swift ratification

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the formal signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Auckland today and urged the swift ratification of the agreement so as to create new export opportunities for Australian agriculture and to further build the sector’s contribution to the national economy.
Agreed to in October 2015 by twelve Pacific Rim countries after seven years of negotiations, the TPP will reduce trade barriers for Australian food and fibre products and includes some of the biggest economies in the world including the United States, Japan and Canada.
NFF President, Brent Finlay, said the TPP would eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs on Australian agricultural exports to TPP countries, would build on existing trade agreements (Korea, Japan and China) and had potential to create longer term benefits for Australian farmers in countries where we did not have agreements in place, namely Canada, Mexico and Peru.
“We are delighted by the signing of the TPP in Auckland today and recognise the collaborative and constructive efforts put in by the Federal Government and industry groups in reaching this milestone,” Mr Finlay said.
“However, it is critical the next step is taken swiftly and that this agreement passes through each of the member country’s parliamentary processes, including here at home.
“What we need is for the clear benefits of this agreement and its potential to bolster Australia’s export opportunities and the broader economy to be recognised and for the ratification process not to be politicised and stalled.”
The TPP is a multi-country Trade Agreement between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada.
Key benefits include:
• In the red meat sector, beef tariffs will be further reduced in Japan and Mexico and will result in the elimination of price safeguards in the United States.
• Tariffs on sheep meat exports to Mexico will be eliminated in eight years and from day one of the agreement coming into effect in all other TPP countries.
• In the grains sector, the agreement will result in the creation of new quota volumes for wheat and barley exports to Japan under the simultaneous buy-sell mechanism which were worth approximately $481 million in 2014. It will also provide for new quota access for roasted malt exports, while tariffs on exports of Australian wheat and barley to Mexico will be eliminated.
• For the rice sector, the TPP results in new quota access into Japan with a new 6,000 tonne quota from entry into force, a reduction in tariffs on a number of rice preparation products, and an amendment to the WTO quota of an extra 60,000 tonnes of medium grain rice for processing use.
• The TPP will eliminate all remaining tariffs on Australian raw wool and cotton exports to TPP countries from day one of the agreement coming into effect and also deliver improved rules of origin for textiles, which will encourage greater demand for Australian fibre products.
• In the dairy sector, the TPP will improve on the Japan Australia bilateral agreement to eliminate tariffs on certain cheese products, and provide tariff reductions and new quota allocations for remaining cheese products.
• In the horticulture sector, the TPP will result in the elimination of all Canada’s horticulture tariffs and most of Mexico’s tariffs upon entry into force and most of Peru’s horticulture tariffs (currently up to 17 per cent) after 15 years.
“The signing of the TPP is a game changing move for Australian agriculture and a comprehensive and liberalising agreement for the Australian community,” Mr Finlay said.
“We now urge those involved to ensure the agreement is ratified so that our industry and the broader economy can reap the benefits of increased global market opportunities.”

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