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Farmers call for immediate action on vital trade agreements

26 August 2019

The National Farmers' Federation has called on the Australian Parliament to support the expedited ratification of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, and the long overdue Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

NFF President Fiona Simson said IA-CEPA secured important new market access for Australia's agricultural exports and the Parliament must act to ensure farmers can benefit as soon as possible.

"The Agreement locks in lower tariffs and expanded quotas for a range of Australia's agricultural exports from grains and live cattle, to horticultural products, dairy, sugar, beef and sheep meat."

Ms Simson said Indonesia was an immensely important neighbour and a growing market for Australian exporters.

"IA-CEPA will create new opportunities for Australian exporters to partner with Indonesian businesses to both supply Indonesian consumers with even more quality Australian agricultural produce and to export more broadly within the region."

Similarly, farmers are seeking early ratification of the Hong Kong FTA. While Hong Kong does not impose tariffs or quotas on Australia's agricultural exports, the Agreement includes valuable commitments to ensure regulatory requirements do not hold up trade.

The Joint Standing Committee has twice recommended ratification of the Peru-Australia FTA but to date the recommendations have gone unheeded. PAFTA similarly creates new market access opportunities for our agricultural exports.

Ms Simson said the NFF congratulates the Government on getting these important agreements to this point.

"However, these outcomes are meaningless until all three agreements are ratified and enter into force. The Parliament needs to stop holding farmers back from accessing these new export opportunities," Ms Simson said.

"We call on all Parliamentarians to put the interests of our farmers first and strongly support the early ratification of IA-CEPA, the Hong Kong FTA and the well overdue Peru-Australia FTA."

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
P 0408 448 250
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