Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan has welcomed the historic Free Trade Agreement with Japan as a major win for the region’s agricultural producers.
“Australia is the first major agricultural exporter to have secured a bilateral trade agreement with Japan,” he said.
“This deal is not about catching up with the preferred treatment other countries have already secured – this is about delivering Australian exporters the ‘first-mover’ advantage and future-proofing exports.”
Japan is Australia’s second-largest market worth about $4 billion, but trade barriers particularly for agriculture have previously been more than 23 per cent, and in some cases as high as 219 per cent.
Last year beef exports to Japan were worth $1.4 billion, with macadamias exports, which are also covered by the Free-tread deal, valued at $16.2 million.
“The Japanese-Australia Economic Partnership (JAEPA) delivers our local beef industry and macadamia growers an unprecedented competitive advantage in this important market,” Mr Hogan said. Other agricultural sectors included in the deal are wine, cheese, sugar, seafood, sheep, pork.
JAEPA will give Australia immediate tariff cuts on beef that will grow and protect this export market.
Beef outcomes include:
• For frozen beef, the tariff facing Australia will fall from 38.5 per cent to 30.5 per cent on day one of the agreement, giving an immediate competitive advantage, and then phase to 19.5 per cent over 18 years.
• For fresh beef, the tariff facing Australia will fall from 38.5 per cent to 32.5 per cent on day one, giving an immediate competitive advantage, and then phase to 23.5 per cent over 15 years.
• Australia (unlike any other country) will never again be subjected to the automatic 50 per cent “global snapback” tariff.
Japan is also a vital market for Australian beef offal and beef products, with exports of $167 million in offal and more than $11 million in preserved and prepared beef in 2013.
• Beef offal tariffs of up to 50 per cent will be reduced immediately by 40 per cent under a growing quota large enough at the start to cover most of Australia’s beef offal exports.
• Tariffs on prepared and preserved beef meat will be reduced immediately by between 20 and 40 per cent under a growing quota large enough at the start to cover existing trade.
Under JAEPA, the market access outcome on beef will be reviewed providing a framework for further liberalisation and protection against competitors securing a better deal.
• A review triggered immediately if Japan provides one of our competitors a better deal on beef, aimed at providing Australia equivalent treatment;
• An automatic review aimed at improving access five years after entry into force; and
• An additional review of the beef safeguard mechanisms after ten years to consider abolishing the safeguard or increasing the safeguard trigger levels.