Agree­ment to open the door to world mar­kets

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Shan­non Boch­enek

GROW­ERS in the re­gion look set to ben­e­fit from the sign­ing of an in­ter­na­tional trade part­ner­ship agree­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The Com­pre­hen­sive and Pro­gres­sive Agree­ment of Tran­sPa­cific Part­ner­ship was signed by Aus­tralia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mex­ico, New Zealand, Peru, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam, in Chile on Thurs­day.

The agree­ment aims to “strengthen the mu­tu­ally-ben­cil efi­cial link­ages among our economies, boost trade, in­vest­ment and eco­nomic growth in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, and create new op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­nesses, con­sumers, fam­i­lies, farm­ers and work­ers,” ac­cord­ing to a De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade state­ment.

While the agree­ment will have im­pacts across mul­ti­ple in­dus­tries, grow­ers are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from the re­duc­tion and elim­i­na­tion of tar­iffs on beef, wine and hor­ti­cul­tural ex­ports.

South­ern Forests Food Coun- cil ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Be­van Eatts said while ben­e­fits to lo­cal grow­ers re­lied on mar­ket ac­cess, the agree­ment had the po­ten­tial to make Aus­tralian prod­ucts more com­pet­i­tive in a global mar­ket.

“How quickly those tar­iffs are lifted and what mar­ket ac­cess comes with that will re­main to be seen, but I think it’s a step in the right di­rec­tion,” he said.

Re­duced or elim­i­nated tar­iffs meant less of a like­li­hood that grow­ers would be “priced out” of over­seas mar­kets, Mr Eatts said.

O’Con­nor MHR Rick Wil­son said the pre­dic­tion was that Aus­tralia’s agri­cul­tural in­dus­try would have “un­prece­dented ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets” when the agree­ment came into ef­fect.

“A very sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of WA’s com­mod­ity ex­ports orig­i­nate from O’Con­nor and this deal has huge po­ten­tial to drive growth in our lo­cal in­dus­tries,” Mr Wil­son said. “It will create bet­ter mar­ket con­di­tions for WA busi­nesses, giv­ing them ac­cess to new mar­kets and higher lev­els of de­mand on a scale that we’ve never seen.”

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