- Australia has today signed the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
- The elimination of tariffs and significant new quotas will boost agricultural exports
- It will also facilitate mobility of skilled agriculture workers between Australia and the UK and enhance technical collaboration
- The FTA is expected to enter into force during the course of 2022.
The Australia-UK FTA will provide new and diversified trade opportunities for Australian farmers and agricultural exporters.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said “This is a huge achievement for Australian agriculture and our farmers”
“This agreement will open up new and enhanced market access for our beef, sheep meat, wine, sugar, dairy, grains, horticulture and seafood exports once it enters into force.
“The UK is a high value market and the reduced trade barriers will provide more opportunity for Australia to export premium products and provide UK consumers with increased choice.
“The agreement is the most comprehensive free trade agreement Australia has signed with any trading partner apart from New Zealand.
“It will contribute to Australia’s post-COVID recovery and provide a boost to Australia’s economy, including delivering more jobs and business opportunities, particularly in rural and regional Australia.
“There will be immediate new market diversification opportunities and reduced trade costs for many sectors, including wine, seafood, rice and horticulture.
“New commercially significant up-front quotas for beef, sheep meat, sugar and dairy will also provide immediate benefits for our farming communities.
“The FTA will also cover a variety of measures critical for the further development of Australian agriculture, including improved investment arrangements and enhanced trade in manufactured goods and services.
“It also establishes closer cooperation on biosecurity, animal welfare and antimicrobial resistance that will not impact Australia’s standards or right to regulate in these critical areas.
“The FTA will also facilitate agricultural labour mobility between the UK and Australia providing new opportunities to support the exchange of skilled labour.”
- Australia’s agricultural trade with the UK in 2020-21 was worth $823 million with key exports including wine ($514m), lamb and mutton ($77m), beef and veal ($11m), pulses ($15m), wool ($8m) and nuts ($7m)
- Total exports to the UK were at an all-time high in 2020-2021. Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries exports to the UK increased by $182m from the previous year ($641m to $823m).
- The complete elimination of tariffs on all agricultural goods within ten years will provide opportunities for continued strong growth of Australian exports into the future.