Australian farmers and businesses will continue to reap the benefits of Australia’s free trade agreements with further tariff cuts set to boost Australia’s competitive advantage in two of our major export markets.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the latest round of tariff cuts on January 1, 2019, under Australia’s trade agreements with China and Korea would build on the substantial economic benefits these two major agreements had already delivered for Australian exporters.
“China and Korea are two of our largest trading partners, and these tariff reductions will provide a significant boost for Australian businesses looking for export opportunities into these markets,” Mr Birmingham said.
“With Australian goods exports to China already totalling $106 billion, this latest round of cuts means tariffs have now been eliminated on 5418 products and give Australian exporters an even greater competitive edge in the Chinese market.
“For example, tariffs on Australian bottled wine exports to China have now been eliminated, unlocking further opportunities for our winemakers, whilst tariffs on a range of other exports including rock lobsters, shampoo, tomato sauce and cherries have also been eliminated.
“Our lamb producers are also big winners with further tariffs reductions of 2.2 per cent on exports of fresh, chilled and frozen lamb to the booming South Korean market.”
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said ChAFTA had contributed to significant growth in exports in the past 12 months.
He said beef exports increased 34.5 per cent to $1 billion, wine exports increased 65.1pc to $982.7 million, dairy exports increased 38pc to $818.8 million, and navel orange exports increased 57.5pc to $87.2 million.
Mr Birmingham said trade had contributed over one-quarter of our economic growth over the past five years, and these agreements, delivered by the Liberal-National Government, were yielding results with Australia having recorded trade surpluses for 21 of the past 24 months.
“Over the past five years under the Liberal-National Government our total trade covered by agreements has risen from 26 per cent to almost 70 per cent,” Mr Birmingham said.
“Our record is in stark contrast to Labor who failed to start and conclude a free trade agreement while they were in government.
“Only the Liberal-National Government can be trusted to deliver trade agreements that open new markets for Australian exporters, create certainty for Australian businesses, strengthen our economy and create more jobs.”
This latest round of tariff cuts are the fifth under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) and the sixth under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
Full details of the latest round of tariff cuts can be found on the FTA Portal.