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Japan-Australia deal makes TPP even more important

Media Release

8 April 2014

Japan-Australia deal makes TPP even more important

The recently-concluded economic partnership agreement between Australia and Japan makes a high quality TPP outcome even more important, according to the New Zealand red meat sector.

The bilateral agreement will lower Japan’s tariffs on Australian beef products, over time, to about half of the 38.5% that is applied to exports from other countries, including New Zealand. This will give Australian beef producers a significant advantage in the Japanese market.

“Without a comprehensive, high quality TPP, we’re now going to have a competitive disadvantage in our fifth-largest beef market, and our largest market for chilled beef. We’ve always placed a lot of importance on a successful and high quality TPP deal that removes all tariffs on our exports,” said Meat Industry Association Chairman Bill Falconer.

“We’re confident that New Zealand’s negotiators are doing their best to get us there, regardless of this kind of distraction.”

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman James Parsons said the Australia-Japan deal was much less ambitious than a typical New Zealand FTA and was “in a completely different league” to the ongoing TPP negotiations.

“A high quality deal means complete tariff elimination on all products of trade interest – that’s basically what New Zealand has achieved in its FTAs. It’s disappointing to see Australia and Japan not get up to that standard, particularly while we’re all in the middle of trying to finish a very high quality TPP agreement.”

ENDS

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