Benefits need to be preserved

27 Jan 17

Benefits need to be preserved 

Following the announcement by the Trump government that the US will withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, Agribusiness Australia is urging the federal government to pull out all stops to preserve the hard-won gains secured during the exhaustive negotiations. 

The TPP was designed to reduce trade barriers and create new export opportunities for our high-quality food and fibre products and services.  

According to Tim Burrow, CEO of Agribusiness Australia, a buoyant agribusiness sector ultimately means a robust economy and jobs. 

The agreement was eight years in the making and encompassed countries that represent 40 per cent of the global economy.  Approximately 40 per cent of Australia’s agricultural exports in 2014 were destined for countries involved in the TPP.  

Whilst not all agricultural commodity sectors were satisfied with the outcomes, major gains were made on a range of agricultural products including beef, wine, rice, horticulture and seafood.  

It is estimated that, once implemented, the TPP could have added an extra $3.67 billion to Australia’s agricultural exports in a ten year period. Experts predicted that the agreement could also save Australian agricultural producers about $1bn a year as 98 per cent of tariffs on Australian exports to TPP countries are eliminated.

As well, it was expected to create longer term benefits for Australian agribusiness beyond those that can be achieved in bilateral free trade agreements. In particular, the TPP is a significant boost for Australia's trading relationship with the three countries for which Australia does not have trade agreements in place ‒ Canada, Mexico and Peru. 

The agreement also extends to manufactured goods, services and resources and energy. This opens significant opportunities for a range of businesses, including those in the rapidly growing agri-services sector. 

“Agricultural exports are one of Australia’s biggest industries - second only to iron ore,” Burrow said.  

“This agreement promised to be good for trade – and trade is clearly good for the national economy. Reduced tariffs and greater certainty on rules would mean more market opportunities and more investment - and this means more jobs and growth in regional centres.” 

“We urge the Federal Government to leave no stone unturned in seeking alternative measures to secure the benefits that would have flowed from the TPP,” he said. 

Media contact: Tim Burrow
Chief Executive Officer, Agribusiness Australia M 0417 868 036

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