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Farmers welcome bipartisan support for CPTPP

14 September 2018

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed Labor’s support for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Borne out of the embattled TPP, the CPTPP will reduce and eliminate tariffs on a range of agricultural products, including red meat, cereals, dairy and wine.

NFF President Fiona Simson said greater market access was key to agriculture’s continued growth.

“Australian farmers export 75 per cent of what they produce. Preferential trade agreements such as the CPTPP, will see more Australian food and fibre enjoyed by consumers across the world and enhanced marketing opportunities for our farmers.”

Ms Simson also acknowledged the release of Labor’s trade policy statement, which picks up on NFF’s long-time call for closer in-market relationships.

“Labor’s proposal to appoint ‘Accredited Trade Advisors’ to better connect industry with trade agreement negotiations is encouraging.”

However, Ms Simson said the NFF would not support any additional layers of bureaucracy to the agreement sign-off process.

“As it stands, bilateral agreements such as that signed with Indonesia, last month are years in the making. Multilateral agreements like the CPTPP take even longer.

"The NFF wholeheartedly supports transparency and rigour in trade agreement assessment and development.

"The processes already deployed by the Australian Parliament provides for reasonable scrutiny without delaying improved market access.

"The last thing we need is more red tape, standing in between farmers and new trade opportunities."

Ms Simson said trade agreements completed to date had provided millions of dollars in returns for Australian farmers.

"They have promoted investment and allowed for more job creation. We look forward to this continuing so that we can reach a $100 billion farm gate value by 2030," Ms Simson said.

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
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