The National Farmers Federation will continue to apply pressure on the Government to push ahead with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite President-elect Donald Trump now only hours away from occupying the White House.
Throughout his campaign President-elect Trump had vowed to kill the United States' involvement in deal as a matter of priority after assuming office.
NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the benefits of the landmark deal were too significant for Australia’s farming sector to give up.
“The opportunities presented by the TPP have the potential to be transformational for our already-strong export industry.
“Commodities across-the-board stand to gain including red meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables, cotton, wool, sugar, grain and seafood.”
However Mr Mahar said if the US pull out the TPP was not necessarily dead in the water.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat. While it would be preferable to have the US remain a party the most significant gains for Australia lie with the deals struck with Japan, Mexico, Argentina and Canada.”
“To this end we were buoyed by discussions between Prime Minister Turnbull and his Japanese counterpart Prime Minister Abe last weekend on how to progress negotiations.
“We particularly welcome Prime Minister Turnbull’s commitment to ratifying the deal – despite the uncertainty following the result of the US election,” Mr Mahar said.
“In 2016 the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) recommended that Parliament ratify the deal – in part because of the significant benefits the TPP would deliver Australian agriculture exports.”
Mr Mahar said the on-foot Regional Cooperative Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement could also deliver benefits to Australian farmers..
“RCEP is crucial to enhancing trade between Australia and Indonesia. RCEP and the TPP operating in tandem would be a trade double-somersault for Australia.”
In 2017 Mr Mahar urged all parliamentarians to maintain a bi-partisan approach to trade and said any move away from this would be detrimental to Australia’s national interest.
“Trade is good for the economy – Australian agricultural exports are our second biggest industry - second only to iron ore.” Mr Mahar said.
“We look forward to the Government’s progressing the ratification the TPP in the 2017 Parliamentary year as a matter of priority.”