The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed news overnight that a deal has been reached between Trans-Pacific Partnership nations, with the exception of the United States.
NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said this new agreement – now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – contains several important gains for Australia’s farm sector.
“While the exact details are still being examined, it’s envisaged that the CPTPP will see significant reduction and elimination of tariffs on a range of agricultural products, including red meat, cereals, dairy and wine.
“Ultimately, this will make Australian food and fibre products more competitive in the global market.
“The NFF has been a staunch advocate for the TPP since its inception, and today’s agreement is an important show of support for free trade by participating nations.
“The CPTPP is a regional free trade agreement of unprecedented scope and ambition. It has great potential to drive job-creating growth across the Australian economy.
“The CPTPP promises far greater access to some of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets – including three G20 nations. The agreement opens up new opportunities in these markets, over and above Australia’s existing bilateral trade arrangements,” Mr Mahar said.
Mr Mahar reinforced the economic importance of this kind of trade liberalisation.
“As an exporting nation, access to new markets for our agricultural commodities and other products and services is central to Australia’s economic success. New opportunities for our farmers, manufacturers and exporters underpin job creation and economic growth right across our economy.
“On the whole, there is no doubt the CPTPP will improve trading conditions for Australia’s farm sector. Advancements like this are critical if we are to reach our vision of a $100 billion farm sector by 2030,” Mr Mahar said.
The NFF also paid tribute to the work of the Australian Government in advocating for the CPTPP.
“Reaching consensus with 10 other nations on such a game-changing deal for regional trade is no small achievement.
“We must acknowledge Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, and our trade officials for their work in securing this outcome.
Once signed, the CPTPP will be subject to a parliamentary review process before being voted on.
“It is critical that all parties and politicians stand behind Australia’s efforts to open new markets. We ask all sides of politics to review the CPTPP on its merits and resist the temptation to politicise the review and ratification process,” Mr Mahar concluded.
The TPP is a multi-country trade agreement between: Australia; Brunei; Chile; Malaysia; New Zealand; Peru; Singapore; Japan; Vietnam; Mexico; and Canada. The United States chose to withdraw from negotiations following the election of President Donald Trump.