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Some, not all, farmers win in China FTA

Posted on 01/31/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

Australian farmers and dairy processors will get a better deal than their New Zealand counterparts under a free trade agreement with China, the federal government says.

深圳桑拿网

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday witnessed the signing by their trade ministers of a declaration of intent to conclude the legalities of the trade deal in 2015.

Under the agreement, all tariffs on dairy products will be scrapped within four to 11 years.

Beef and sheep farmers will benefit from the abolition of tariffs ranging from 12-25 per cent.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb said Australian farmers would no longer be at a disadvantage to their New Zealand, Chilean and ASEAN competitors who have long enjoyed the benefits of an FTA with China.

“In agriculture it’s in every respect New Zealand-equivalent … in dairy it’s New Zealand-plus,” he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Restrictions applied on NZ liquid milk, cheese and butter exports will not be imposed on Australia.

All tariffs on horticulture and live animal exports will be eliminated, while wine makers will see about 14-30 per cent shaved off their tariffs.

Wool producers – who already supply 75 per cent of their output to China – will be able to export another 30,000 tonnes of clean wool on top of existing quotas under an exclusive arrangement.

However, cotton, wheat, sugar and rice and oilseeds industries have missed out.

Ricegrowers awaiting final details were disappointed not all agricultural products were included.

“It doesn’t appear to be as comprehensive as we would have liked,” Ricegrowers Association of Australia president Les Gordon said in a statement to AAP.

Negotiations for the five sectors broke down over China’s demands for better access for its state-owned enterprise investors – a sticking point for the government.

However, Mr Robb says there will be an opportunity to renegotiate access for both sides in 2017.

The National Farmers Federation welcomed the deal and predicted agricultural exports could triple within 10 years.

But it regretted sugar, rice, cotton and some grains farmers had missed out.

“These products will be in high demand in China over coming years and must be included in the review arrangements after three years,” NFF president Brent Finlay said.

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