Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Australia Japan Free Trade Agreement Concluded
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP
The Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP
Minister for Trade
Australia has concluded negotiations on an historic Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan, our second biggest trading partner. This historic agreement is good for the Australian economy, good for jobs, good for farmers and good for consumers.
The breakthrough follows the successful conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement with Korea, which will be formally signed tomorrow in Seoul. Australia has broken new ground as the first major agricultural exporting economy to conclude such a liberalising agreement with Japan.
The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) will deliver a significant boost to Australian farmers and other agricultural producers, resource exporters, service providers and consumers.
Better access for key agriculture products – including beef, cheese, horticulture and wine – will give Australia a head start over our competitors in this market.
JAEPA represents a major windfall for Australian beef – our biggest agricultural export to Japan, currently worth $1.4 billion. This includes a halving of the tariff on frozen beef from 38.5 per cent to 19.5 per cent, with deep cuts in the first year.
Cheese, by far Australia’s largest dairy export to Japan at $372 million, will gain significant new duty-free access. Australian horticultural producers will gain from immediate tariff eliminations across a wide array of fruit, vegetables and nuts.
The tariffs on canned products such as tomatoes, peaches and pears, as well as fruit and vegetable juices, will also be eliminated.
Australian consumers will also be major beneficiaries of this Agreement, with tariffs eliminated on imported cars from Japan, as well as on household appliances and electronics. Australian services providers will also gain significant new access to the Japanese market across areas such as financial, education, telecommunications and legal services.
JAEPA sends a strong message to Japanese investors that Australia is open for business.