Aussie FTA leaves NZ meat sector envious

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New Zealand’s meat sector will be hoping to benefit from a yet-to-be-signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that its Australian counterparts are about to enter into with the UK.

Last week, an agreement on a UK/Australia FTA was announced. It will eventually see Australian meat exports gain tariff-free access to the British market.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the deal as among the “most comprehensive and ambitious agreement that Australia has concluded”.

“I said we would wait for the right deal, and I think we’ve got the right deal between the UK and Australia.”

Of the few details confirmed is the reduction of Australian beef tariffs into the UK over a 15-year transition period, and sheep meat over 10-years.

The deal, once signed and ratified, will result in Australian beef, sheep and goat meat exports entering the UK under a tariff rate quota (TRQ) regime.

Beef tariffs will be eliminated after 10 years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 35,000 tonnes, rising in equal installments to 110,000 tonnes in year 10. Over the following five years, a safeguard will apply on beef imports exceeding a further volume threshold rising in equal installments to 170,000 tonnes.

Sheep meat tariffs will be eliminated after 10 years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to duty-free quota of 25,000 tonnes, rising in equal installments to 75,000 tonnes in year 10.

Meanwhile, the NZ red meat sector is looking on with envy at the UK/Australia deal. Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says it is a significant milestone for the UK as it seeks to forge an independent trade policy post-Brexit.

 

by  David Anderson / Rural News

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