AMIC welcomes historic trade agreement CPTPP reaching the Senate

(15 October 2018)

The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomes the introduction of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in the Senate this week.

AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson says agreements like the CPTPP are a great step towards unlocking trade opportunities for the Australian red meat industry.

The CPTPP will complement other agreements that are already in place with countries like Peru and Japan, and unlock opportunities with Canada, Mexico and other CPTPP members Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

We particularly welcome the progressive elimination of all tariffs on sheep meat with Canada and Mexico.

We need now for a full progression of this bill through the Senate this week, Patrick said. If we were not successful, and we were not part of the CPTPP, we would be losing ground to our competitors. As an example, New Zealand and Canada would receive an 11% tariff cut for their fresh beef exports to Japan in 2019, giving them a tariff rate 2.2%, which is lower than our current preferential treatment under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). Without the CPTPP we will not enjoy the same advantage, Patrick said.

All parties must see the importance of this agreement to the Australian rural and regional economy, Patrick said. Our industry employees nearly 200,000 people and trade agreements like CPTPP will help it grow and thrive. But theres also plenty of work to be done.

There are a number of serious challenges to our sector which can only be solved with government support, and that starts with genuine recognition of the critical role of the supply chain in the agricultural industry. We all want farms to thrive, and the reality is that farms will always do better when the supply chain does better.

AMIC is scheduling discussions in this area with the majority of cabinet ministers in coming weeks with a key focus on labour, energy, regulation burden and market access and their impacts on red meat and pork processing, smallgoods manufacturing, export and domestic retail meat businesses.

AMIC is the peak council representing retailers, processors and smallgoods manufacturers and is the only industry association representing the post-farmgate Australian meat industry.

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Further information:
Patrick Hutchinson
CEO, Australian Meat Industry Council
0435 357 942
phutchinson@amic.org.au