Australia’s export trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea – three of our four largest export markets – will set Australia up for the long term.
These agreements will grow our economy, create jobs and benefit consumers.
Independent economic modelling has found that together these three free trade agreements will, over the next two decades, create many thousands of new jobs, make households more than $4,000 better off and boost GDP by almost $25 billion.
For Australian consumers and businesses, the new trade agreements will also place downward pressure on the prices of some goods, such as vehicles, electronics, clothes and household appliances.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) promises even greater benefits for Australian exporters and investors in the fast growing Asia-Pacific region.
We are negotiating further export agreements with India, Indonesia, and regional and Pacific nations and have agreed to negotiate an FTA with the 28-member European Union, creating even greater opportunities for Australian businesses.
Australians are already benefitting from the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement through greater market access for Australian goods and services.
This is the most liberalising FTA that China has ever undertaken.
96% of Australian exports to China will be tariff free once this agreement is fully implemented.
Farmers will benefit with the complete removal of tariffs of key exports such as dairy, beef, lamb, wine, horticulture and seafood.
The China FTA also opens opportunities in China for Australian private hospitals, providers of aged care services, telecommunications companies and a wide range of other service providers.
The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement is the most ambitious trade deal Japan has concluded with any other country.
When fully implemented, more than 97% of Australian exports will enter Japan – the world’s third-largest economy – duty free or with preferential access.
The tariffs on our biggest agricultural export to Japan – beef – will almost be halved, while tariffs will be eliminated on other key agricultural exports, including a range of wine, seafood, processed food, fruit, vegetables and nuts.
Australia will also gain new levels of access to the Japanese market for a range of services.
Australian consumers will also benefit from downward pressure on prices for Japanese cars and parts and a range of household items including whitegoods and electronics through the elimination of tariffs.
Under this agreement, almost 100% of all Australian exports to Korea will be able to enter duty free on full implementation of the Agreement.
Independent economic modelling estimates that, by 2030, exports of agricultural goods to South Korea will be 73% higher, manufacturing exports will be 53% higher and mining exports will be 17% higher than would otherwise be the case.
Our goods and services exports to the Trans-Pacific Partnership markets were worth $107 billion in 2014-15 – a third of all our exports.
The TPP will deliver substantial new trade and investment opportunities and greater access to the world’s most dynamic economies for our service industries.
Stronger Farmers, Stronger Economy
The opportunities for the agricultural sector are enormous. We sit on the edge of the strongest growing region in the world, we have a developed agriculture sector with sound prospects for expansion, we have food safety, animal welfare, biosecurity and environmental credentials that are world-class and we have a well-educated and skilled workforce.
The Coalition is focused on delivering agricultural policies that deliver:
- increased returns for farmers at the farm gate;
- a fairer go for farm businesses;
- building 21st Century water, transport and communications infrastructure;
- strengthening our approach to drought and risk management to boost farm resilience;
- a smarter approach to farming based on a strong research and development system; and
- access to premium markets.
Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper
The Coalition has delivered and implemented the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, a $4 billion investment in Australia’s farmers, strengthening the agricultural sector to ensure it remains competitive.
Through the White Paper, the Coalition is lowering tax, putting in place clearer drought support measures, cutting red and green tape, building infrastructure, encouraging trade, developing northern Australia and supporting business to innovate and create jobs.
The White Paper delivers the $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to plan for and build the water infrastructure, including new dams and pipelines, needed to secure growth in agricultural production and regional communities.
National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility
The Coalition Government will make available $2 billion over 10 years for loans to the state and territory governments under a new National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
The loan facility will be available from 2016-17 to enhance the capital available for water infrastructure projects, stimulating and accelerating investments in water infrastructure in regional areas by the states.
This will include the construction of new dams, pipelines and managed aquifer recharge projects that are economically viable and will generate affordable water to grow regional economies. Access to affordable water will be a key influence over the extent to which Australia’s farm and food sectors can realise export growth opportunities and meet growing demand from population growth.
Drought assistance for farmers
The Coalition is committed to supporting farmers – as well as the rural communities they help to sustain – to prepare for, manage through and recover from drought and adverse conditions. The Coalition has delivered more than $710 million in drought assistance and support to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship.
$2.5 billion has been set aside over the next 10 years for drought concessional loans, on top of more than $426 million paid out in approved concessional loans to over 800 farm businesses so far.
We are delivering support to farmers in need by enhancing the Rural Financial Counselling Service and have introduced the Farm Household Allowance, which is a fortnightly payment that has so far assisted 6,000 farmers.
Research and Development
The Coalition has always been a strong supporter of the agricultural research and development (R&D) system including collection of grower levies supported by matching Commonwealth funding.
The Coalition delivering on its commitment to boost agricultural innovation and competitiveness by investing in the Research and Development for Profit program, for which $78 million in R&D projects have been approved.
In the White Paper the Coalition delivered a further $100 million for the R&D for Profit, extending the program to 2021-22.