TPP must be commercially meaningful for dairy

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Category: In the News

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offers a historic opportunity to address a broad range of distortions affecting Australian dairy producers, and to ensure consumers throughout the region involved have access to safe, high quality Australian products.

A free trade negotiation that commenced in March 2010, the TPP involves 12 Pacific Rim countries including Australia, who account for approximately 40% of the world’s GDP*. Included in this round up are key Australian dairy export markets such as Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as competitor countries such as New Zealand and the USA.

Australia exports dairy products to all eleven TPP countries – between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes valued at around $US1 billion per year. Around 50% of these exports (worth $425 million in 2013/14) go to Japan.

Throughout the negotiations, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has continuously lobbied for the TPP to address traditional tariff barriers for dairy products and more subtle trade distorting non-tariff measures such as the European Union’s aggressive stance on Geographical Indications, as demonstrated in their trade agreement with Canada.

The ADIC expects that the TPP will address these non-tariff barriers, especially in the Japanese and Canadian markets where these restrictions are most pervasive. For the TPP to be commercially meaningful, markets like Canada and Japan must demonstrate that they are prepared to significantly increase their existing dairy market access positions.

Sustained economic and population growth is driving an increase in dairy demand for the Asia-Pacific, but to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, the TPP must be ambitious, comprehensive and commercially meaningful.

The latest round of TPP negotiations took place in Guam at chief negotiator level on 26 May 2015. There are many issues yet to be addressed and the ministerial meeting planned to follow the negotiators talks did not take place with the US Congress yet to pass the crucial Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Bill.

The ADIC will continue to advocate strongly for dairy’s interests in the TPP.

*Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. 


 

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