The Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed Labor’s support for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which saw the enabling legislation pass the House of Representatives.
The CPTPP will reduce and eliminate tariffs on a range of agricultural products, including red meat, cereals, dairy and wine. In addition, it is the first FTA negotiated by Australia that explicitly addresses non-tariff measures in an Annex.
WFA Chief Executive, Tony Battaglene said “we are pleased to see bi-partisan support of this important piece of legislation. The Australian wine industry is experiencing growth in various parts of the greater sector, and this legislation will pave the way for sustainable employment and prosperity, particularly in rural and regional Australia”.
“I am also delighted Labor’s trade policy statement recognises the need for a strong industry-government partnership, in negotiating Free Trade Agreements and improving market access for agricultural commodities and food and beverages. The proposal to appoint ‘Accredited Trade Advisors’ to better connect industry with trade agreement negotiations is a very positive sign.”
It is vital that Australia continues its Bipartisan support for trade policy and increases it efforts to improve market access. In times of drought and other hardship, our industry relies on access to overseas markets to maintain profitability. Short-sighted protectionism will only harm our important food and agriculture sector and cause untold damage to rural and regional Australia.