AUSTRALIAN farmers exporting overseas will be better off as tariffs are slashed or abolished under the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, agriculture minister David Littleproud says.
ChAFTA was signed three years ago with elements of the agreement progressively taking effect.
The new CPTPP (or TPP-11) regime, meanwhile, took effect on 1 January.
Mr Littleproud was bullish over both agreements.
“Key exports including wine, most fruit and vegetables, seafood and some dairy will no longer cop a tariff in China, which means our produce will be more affordable for Chinese consumers,” Mr Littleproud said.
The minister said ChAFTA had contributed to growth in exports over the last 12 months; beef exports increased 34.5% to $1bn, wine exports increased 65.1% to $982.7m, dairy exports rose 38% to $818.8m, and navel orange exports increased 57.5% to $87.2m.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership entered into force on 30 December 2018.
“Just some of the benefits are our farmers will sell more dairy into Canada through a new quota, more rice into Japan and no longer face tariffs on sheep meat or pork into Mexico,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We’re giving our farmers more options overseas so they can sell where they choose – not just to the supermarkets here in Australia.
“Australia exported more than $12.5bn of agricultural produce to CPTPP countries last financial year, representing almost a quarter of Australia’s total ag exports.”
Mr Littleproud said Australia’s ratification of the CPTPP meant Australian exporters benefitted from immediate tariff cuts for Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore, and further tariff cuts into Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.
Australian exporters are to benefit from two tariff cuts for Vietnam on 14 January 2019.