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How exporters can benefit under new TPP trade agreement

How exporters can benefit under new TPP trade agreement article image

The federal government today released full details of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11).

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo said Australian farmers, businesses and all exporters can see the full benefits and breadth of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement with the release of the text.

Mr Ciobo says the TPP-11 will help create new Australian jobs across all sectors – agriculture, manufacturing, mining, services – as it creates new opportunities in a free trade area that spans the Americas and Asia.

The landmark agreement with 11 nations, which Australia played a key role in securing following the withdrawal of the US, eliminates more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a combined GDP of $13.7 trillion.

As tariffs tumble, the TPP-11 will drive demand for Australian goods and services. 

The original TPP was signed in February 2016 by the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, and Chile.

However, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement on his first week in office in favour of bilateral trade deals.

Improved access to key markets

The TPP-11 delivers significant increases in market access for Australian goods and services, most notably improved access to the Japanese market for a number of our agricultural products.

The deal also creates Australia’s first free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, giving Australian exporters preferential access to two of the world’s top 20 economies.

Significant wins for Australian exporters under the TPP-11 include:

  • Beef: Japan will accelerate reductions in its tariffs; Canada and Mexico will eliminate their tariffs within 10 years of entry into force;
  • Wine: Canada will eliminate tariffs;
  • Dairy: Japan will eliminate a range of tariffs on cheese, covering over $100 million of trade not covered by JAEPA. Mexico and Canada will implement new quotas for cheese, milk powders and butter; Canadian tariffs on milk protein concentrates will be eliminated on entry into force; Mexico will eliminate tariffs on yoghurt;
  • Sheepmeat: all tariffs will be eliminated;
  • Resources/energy: all remaining tariffs will be eliminated on Australian exports to TPP-11 countries, including around $35 billion of resources and energy exports to Japan alone;
  • Sugar: tariffs will be eliminated for high polarity sugar exports to Japan;
  • Manufactured products: all tariffs will be eliminated on Australian exports to TPP-11 countries, worth an estimated $14 billion in 2016-17; and
  • Rice: new access to the Japanese market has been secured for the first time in over 20 years; Mexico will eliminate its tariff

The TPP-11 will also create new opportunities for services exports.

Mr Ciobo said Australian services exports to TPP-11 markets, worth more than $18 billion in 2016-17, will benefit from a wide range of commitments, which will legally guarantee levels of access, reduce some regulatory risks and improve transparency and predictability in cross-border trade and investment.

The Agreement will also assist Australian businesses tap into regional value chains by liberalising and improving the regulatory regimes for investment in a number of countries, notably in mining and resources, telecommunications and financial services.

Foreign investment

Australia will have improved treatment in the Canadian and Mexican investment systems.

The Agreement explicitly retains the government’s authority to regulate foreign investment in sensitive sectors in the national interest.

Mr Ciobo is expected to sign the TPP-11 Agreement in Santiago, Chile, on March 8.

Following signature, the TPP-11 text and National Interest Analysis will be tabled in Federal Parliament.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will conduct full public enquiries into the Agreement and report back to Parliament.

“The Turnbull Government wants to see this landmark agreement enter into force as soon as possible so Australian farmers, businesses and manufactures can enjoy its benefits,” said Mr Ciobo.

The text of the TPP-11 is available at: http://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/tpp/official-documents/.

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