Call for sup­port for Peru FTA

Shepparton News - Country News - - DAIRY -

Fail­ure to rat­ify the Peru-Aus­tralia free trade agree­ment this year will cause ma­jor agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries to miss out on im­proved mar­ket ac­cess and tar­iff cuts, says the coun­try’s peak dairy group.

The Aus­tralian Dairy In­dus­try Coun­cil has urged Fed­eral Par­lia­ment to of­fer bi­par­ti­san sup­port for the Peru-Aus­tralia FTA fol­low­ing the re­cent release of a new Se­nate re­port that again rec­om­mended the agree­ment be rat­i­fied and im­ple­mented.

ADIC chair­man Terry Richard­son said the Peru-Aus­tralia FTA rep­re­sented a pos­i­tive step for­ward for the dairy in­dus­try and would pro­vide greater op­por­tu­ni­ties for Aus­tralia to ex­pand its ex­port ca­pac­ity.

‘‘It is vi­tal that the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment rat­i­fies and im­ple­ments this agree­ment as soon as pos­si­ble, so that Aus­tralian busi­nesses can se­cure the mar­ket ac­cess and com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage that it will pro­vide,’’ Mr Richard­son said.

The deal will re­duce 99.4 per cent of the tar­iffs Aus­tralian ex­porters have pre­vi­ously faced with Peru, and Aus­tralian dairy ex­porters will also re­ceive im­proved mar­ket ac­cess in the form of an ex­port bas­ket quota of 7000 tonnes of dairy prod­uct in the first year of im­ple­men­ta­tion, ris­ing by 300 tonnes per an­num and peak­ing at 10 000 tonnes in the 10th year.

‘‘This is a good out­come for Aus­tralian dairy farm­ers and the in­dus­try in gen­eral,’’ Mr Richard­son said.

‘‘His­tor­i­cally, Peru has been a sen­si­tive mar­ket for dairy im­ports, so this is a pos­i­tive achieve­ment.

‘‘The Aus­tralian dairy in­dus­try is recog­nised world­wide for pro­duc­ing sus­tain­able, pre­mium qual­ity prod­ucts and we’re ex­cited that this new deal will pro­vide ac­cess to a grow­ing mar­ket.’’

He said the agree­ment would pro­vide a greater de­gree of cer­tainty for Aus­tralian ex­porters and en­sured they would have im­proved ac­cess to a highly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place, as well as plac­ing Aus­tralia on a more even play­ing field with in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors.

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