AUSTRALIA’S signing overnight of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will deliver benefits through improving its access to markets including Japan and Mexico, according to national grain producers’ representative body, GrainGrowers.
Known as TPP-11, the newly created trade bloc does not include the United States, but links selected American, Asian and Pacific nations.
“TPP-11 includes five of Australia’s important grain exports markets in Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, which account for 15-20 per cent of Australian grain trade,” GrainGrowers trade and economics manager, Luke Mathews, said.
“The Australian grain industry already has preferential access into a number of TPP-11 countries because of existing trade agreements, such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. TPP-11 will build on this.”
Mr Mathews said TPP-11 would improve market access for Australian wheat and barley into Japan, and also into the large and rapidly expanding Mexican market.
He said GrainGrowers strongly supported a trade liberalisation agenda which focused on addressing non-tariff barriers to trade such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as well as quotas and tariffs.
GrainGrowers said about 60 per cent of all grain grown in Australia was exported, generating returns of $11.8 billion per year.
“Access to strong, open and fair international markets is critical to the success of the Australian grain industry, the Australian agriculture sector and the Australian economy more broadly.”
“As such, we strongly encourage the Australian Government to vigorously pursue and conclude the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which includes the critical ASEAN, Indian and Chinese markets, and the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement.”
Australia’s Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said TPP-11 was the world’s largest ever regional trade agreement which created “huge opportunities”.
“Last year Australia exported around $12b worth of agricultural goods to the TPP-11 countries, so this is a real game changer with huge potential.”
Mr Littleproud said tariff reductions and new access for Australian grain into Japan, including new access for rice products for the first time in 20 years, were a significant feature of the agreement.
Signatories to the TPP-11 agreement are: Australia; Brunei; Canada; Chile; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Peru; Singapore, and Vietnam.
Major TPP-11 benefits for Australian grain include:
- Reduction to Japan’s mark-up on wheat and barley by 45pc within eight years;
- New Australia-only quota for wheat and TPP-11 quote for barley into Japan;
- Elimination of Mexico’s 67pc tariff on wheat within 10 years;
- Elimination of Mexico’s 115pc tariff on barley within five years;
- Elimination of Canada’s wheat and barley tariffs.
Source: GrainGrowers; Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.