BRITAIN’S decision to quit the European Union may open doors for Aussie beef exporters, Nationals Senator Bridget Mckenzie believes.
Senator McKenzie, from Victoria, is chair of the Senate Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Sub Committee.
In Sydney for talks with an EU trade delegation, one topic to come up for discussion was beef.
“In particular I raised the issue of beef and sheep exports from Australia which have been restricted by low volume import quotas and high import tariffs,” Senator McKenzie said.
“Those restrictions have been higher with the UK included in the trading bloc but with Britain’s decision to leave the EU that could open up trade for Australia and I was keen to discuss that.
“Despite these restrictions, red meat exports to the EU from Australia are worth $425m and ranks seventh on the export list.”
Senator McKenzie said two-way trade between Australia and the European Union was worth $98bn while exports from Australia to the EU were worth more than $30bn.
The European delegation included six members of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee from Germany, Austria, Poland, Finland and, intriguingly, the UK.
Wine also came up for discussion.
“Another subject I raised was Australian wine and in particular prosecco from Victoria’s North East.
“This is a particularly delightful variety which I am sure will find an increasing market in the EU.”
Senator McKenzie said politicians from both the EU and Australia were keen to see negotiations finalised.
“In a recent report the committee emphasised its keenness pursue the EU for increased trade and these talks certainly opened up that pathway,” Senator McKenzie said.