Trade Minister Andrew Robb has sealed a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, following Tokyo’s decision to grant unprecedented concessions that are sure to boost access for Australian beef and dairy products.
According to the joint media release issued by Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) will give Australia a head start over other competitors in the market.
“JAEPA represents a major windfall for Australian beef– our biggest agricultural export to Japan, currently worth $1.4 billion. This includes a halving of the tariff on frozen beef from 38.5 per cent to 19.5 per cent, with deep cuts in the first year,” it says in the media release.
“Cheese, by far Australia’s largest dairy export to Japan at $372 million, will gain significant new duty-free access. Australian horticultural producers will gain from immediate tariff eliminations across a wide array of fruit, vegetables and nuts.”
Under the terms of this historic agreement, pinned as the “biggest event in Japanese-Australian relations since the 1957 trade pact”, almost every Australian export to Japan will receive a certain degree of relief from tariffs and duties.
Australian consumers will also see numerous benefits from the Agreement, with tariffs eliminated on imported cars, household appliances and electronics from Japan. The deal also provides for new and improved access to the Japanese market for Australian service providers.
According to the Minister and Prime Minister, the signing of the Agreement also sends a strong message to investors from Japan that Australia is “open for business”.
JAEPA follows the deal the Minister sealed earlier with South Korea, and is expected to build on the 1957 trade pact and “take the relationship to another level”.
“This historic agreement is good for the Australian economy, good for jobs, good for farmers and good for consumers,” it says in the release.
To view the key outcomes of the Agreement, go to dfat.gov.au