On Wednesday, 31 October, Australia ratified the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) trade agreement, giving Aussie farmers greater access to overseas markets.
Australia is the sixth country to ratify the agreement, after Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore, which means the agreement now enters into force on 30 December 2018.
“The announcement that Australia has notified its ratification of the TPP-11 is great news for farmers and great news for Australia,” National Farmers’ Federation Fiona Simson said.
It is an announcement that many thought would never come.
What is the TPP-11
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) is a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.
Discussions for the agreement began in 2010 and were designed to push the boundaries and set new standards for international trade.
On 8 March 2018, the deal was signed by the leaders of the 11 countries. The leaders then went back to their countries to arrange for the agreed provisions to be domestically supported.
The Agreement would not take effect until six countries ratified the agreement.
Now that Australia has triggered the Agreement into effect, the six signatory countries that have also ratified the Agreement will be able to take advantage of the TTP-11 provisions from 30 December this year.
Australia ratified the TPP-11 Agreement with one day to spare in order to take advantage of two tariff cuts within three days – one on 30 December and another on 1 January 2019.
What does this mean for Australian farmers?
The TPP-11 will deliver new market access for Australian agricultural exports and increase the competitiveness of Australian food and fibre products in global markets as well as strengthening regional supply chains and build prosperity.
“TPP-11 delivers improved market access for dairy; cotton; barley; beef and live cattle; offal, processed meat and animal fats; sheepmeat; seafood; sugar, wheat; and wine.
“These outcomes will increase investment on-farm in jobs, innovation and efficiencies that will flow through to rural and regional economies,” Ms Simson said
Reaching consensus with 10 other nations on such a game-changing deal for regional trade is no small achievement.
According to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, the Agreement will provide new access to the Canadian market for our grains, sugar and beef exporters and open up the growing Mexican market for our pork, wheat, sugar, barley and horticulture producers.
“Australian exporters of industrial products such as iron and steel, leather and paper products and medical equipment, who currently sell $19 billion worth of products to TPP-11 markets, will be able to grow their businesses without facing a tariff disadvantage.
“The TPP-11 also improves our market access into Japan for our beef, wheat, barley and dairy exporters beyond the bilateral Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement,” he said.