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Australian farmers need high ambition from TPP talks

4 July 2014

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today demanded the Federal Government seek ambitious outcomes from all countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations scheduled to take place in Ottawa, Canada next week.

“Agriculture needs to be at the heart of the TPP agreement and will be one of the sectors that can deliver commercially meaningful trade gains from entry into force for the Australian economy,” said NFF CEO Matt Linnegar.

“It is critically important that as these trade talks progress in the next week, the views of the Australian farm and agribusiness sector are clear in the mind of Australian negotiators.

“The NFF has been very clear that improved market access and elimination of tariffs and other barriers for Australian farmers remain the highest priority. The level of ambition for outcomes in the TPP must be high and it must be a shared vision across all of the participating countries. Australian farmers cannot support an outcome that does not deliver the goods.

“There are challenges in reaching agreement with twelve countries and we recognise that, however, the success of the TPP, and all trade agreements for that matter, will ultimately be measured against commercial value back to the farmer,” said Mr Linnegar.

The NFF is of the view that a comprehensive outcome for agriculture from the TPP will not only deliver a range of flow-on benefits for the Australian farm sector and economy, but will provide benefits for farmers in all participating economies via increased profitability, investment and employment.

“We want the Australian government and participating governments to ramp up the momentum and progress market access outcomes. It is critical that those outcomes include improved commercial arrangements for Australian farmers” said Mr Linnegar.

“The risk of any arrangements that would undermine commitment to the complete elimination of tariffs as part of a TPP outcome is of critical concern to the NFF. Allowing any access restrictions to be maintained would lead to a second class trade agreement, at best.

“As an agricultural producer, Australia of course recognises there are sensitivities associated with agricultural goods in some countries, but we simply cannot embrace any agreement that does not deliver meaningful market access gains for all agricultural sectors,” said Mr Linnegar.

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Media Enquiries: NFF General Manager of Policy, Tony Mahar 0408 448 250 or

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