National Farmers' Federation

Peru trade deal to build on TPP benefits

Beef, sheep meat, sugar, dairy, rice, grain and wine are among the industries that stand to benefit from a new trade deal between Australia and Peru.
The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the Government’s announcement today that talks are underway between the two countries to develop a free trade agreement (FTA).
NFF President Fiona Simson said all steps to provide Australian farmers’ preferential access to global markets were positive.
“We congratulate Trade Minister Steve Ciobo and the Government for their continued focus on liberalised trade. As an export-dependent industry, Australian agriculture’s growth depends on continually improving market access for our products.”
An FTA with Peru is a stepping stone to a larger trade deal with the Pacific Alliance which includes Mexico, Peru and Chile and a way to retain some of the benefits negotiated through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) process.
During the past 10 years Peru has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies, the fastest growing economy in Latin America with the same gross domestic product as Vietnam (about $150 billion) and the same consumer base as Malaysia (30 million).
Ms Simson said many of Australia’s key export competitors including the United States, Canada and the European Union, already had FTAs with the South American country.
“Without such a deal, Australia won’t be able to compete for Peruvian market share.
“In Peru Australian farm products face tariffs of between 9%-29% (with the potential for tariffs as high as 68% under Peru’s existing tariff schedule through the WTO).”
Today’s announcement comes after remaining TPP countries met in Hanoi on the weekend to agree on a plan and a timeline to rescue the watershed agreement.
“We congratulate Minister Steve Ciobo for his dogged efforts in keeping the TPP, and the benefits it offers Australian farmers, alive.”
Ms Simson said a TPP without the US as a party was beneficial for Australia.
“Under a ‘TPP minus 1 agreement’ Australia will maintain preferential access into the US market by virtue of our existing bilateral FTA. We would also maintain preferential access for red meat into Japan, which the US would not get until it either joins the TPP or negotiates a bilateral agreement with Japan.
“The big challenge will be making sure countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam have an incentive to stay in the tent, as it was the carrot of the US market that brought them in,” Ms Simson said.

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