New England agriculture big winner in Australia-UK FTA

New England agriculture big winner in Australia-UK FTA

17 Jun 2021

Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said farmers and agricultural workers in his electorate would be among the winners in the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Mr Joyce said the Coalition Government had secured tariff free access to the UK’s 66 million customers for Australian meat, sheepmeat, dairy, rice, wine and sugar.

“Farmers in in the New England will be happy with this deal,” Mr Joyce said.

“Our Government has negotiated for our local producers to be more attractive to new customers which will support jobs and businesses in the New England.

“We produce high-quality and price competitive produce in the New England and this FTA will give our local products tariff free access to the UK.

“A new agriculture and agribusiness announced as part of the deal will allow local agriculture workers to experience life and work visas in the UK and vice versa, helping our workers gain valuable experience while helping employers fill skilled positions.”

Under the FTA Agreement in Principle:

  • Beef tariffs will be eliminated after ten years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 35,000 tonnes, rising in equal instalments to 110,000 tonnes in year 10. In the subsequent five years a safeguard will apply on beef imports exceeding a further volume threshold rising in equal instalments to 170,000 tonnes, levying a tariff safeguard duty of 20 per cent for the rest of the calendar year.
  • Sheep meat tariffs will be eliminated after ten years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 25,000 tonnes, rising in equal instalments to 75,000 tonnes in year 10. In the subsequent five years a safeguard will apply on sheep meat imports exceeding a further volume threshold rising in equal instalments to 125,000 tonnes, levying a tariff safeguard duty of 20 per cent for the rest of the calendar year.
  • Sugar tariffs will be eliminated over eight years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota of 80,000 tonnes, rising by 20,000 tonnes each year.
  • Dairy tariffs will be eliminated over five years. During the transition period, Australia will have immediate access to a duty-free quota for cheese of 24,000 tonnes, rising in equal instalments to 48,000 tonnes in year five. Australia will also have immediate access to a duty-free quota for non-cheese dairy of 20,000 tonnes. There will be a further duty-free transitional quota for butter of 5,500 tonnes rising to 11,500 tonnes in year five.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said UK FTA would be the most comprehensive and liberal agreement Australia had signed, outside of our partnership with New Zealand.

“Our Government worked very closely with the agriculture sector as we negotiated this FTA to ensure the best deal possible for our farmers,” Mr Tehan said.

“This agreement will enhance the already strong relationship between Australia and the UK, providing opportunities for farmers, businesses and workers in both countries.”

(ENDS)

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