Agreement to open the door to world markets
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.”