Bid to cut red tape on ex­ports

The Australian - - THE NATION - PRIMROSERIORDAN

Si­mon Birm­ing­ham will launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into how Aus­tralia’s trad­ing part­ners are in­flict­ing more red tape on our ex­ports so Aus­tralia’s trade diplo­mats can chal­lenge the prac­tice abroad.

Austrade says red tape im­posed by other coun­tries is cost­ing ex­porters more than three times as much as tar­iffs.

A re­port by Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia and the Aus­tralian Meat In­dus­try Coun­cil found last year that red meat ex­porters faced a ma­jor in­crease in red tape.

The re­port found these “non­tar­iff bar­ri­ers” had in­creased from 136 to 245 — cost­ing the in­dus­try $3.4 bil­lion per year.

“These types of prac­tices shouldn’t be un­der­es­ti­mated. They have po­ten­tial to com- pletely wipe out the abil­ity of Aus­tralian ex­porters to op­er­ate in par­tic­u­lar mar­kets due to cost im­pli­ca­tions or their im­pact on the qual­ity of pro­duce,” the Trade Min­is­ter said.

“Whilst many of these re­quire­ments are le­git­i­mate, we’re see­ing a shift to­wards how reg­u­la­tions and red tape are be­ing ma­nip­u­lated and used as a de­lib­er­ate tool to dis­tort trade flows and pro­tect do­mes­tic in­dus­tries.”

Austrade will talk to ex­porters and feed their in­for­ma­tion back to 22 Aus­tralian agri­cul­tural trade diplo­mats over­seas.

The move was backed by the Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion, the Ex­port Coun­cil and the Aus­tralian In­dus­try Group.

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