The beef and dairy industries have welcomed the new trade agreement with South Korea but the rice industry has been left high and dry.December 10, 2013 4:01am
The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia has expressed disappointment with the announcement and said the agreement was not really ‘‘free’’ if a whole industry was excluded.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament Trade Minister Andrew Robb had successfully concluded negotiations with Korea, which is Australia’s third-largest export market.
‘‘Under this agreement, tariffs will be eliminated on Australia’s major exports to Korea and there will be significant new market openings in services and investment,’’ he said.
Tariffs will be phased out over the next 15 years on products such as beef, wheat, dairy, sugar, wine, seafood and fruits.
The beef and sheep industry South Korea Taskforce spokesman Stephen Kelly expressed appreciation that the government was able to progress negotiations with South Korea, and to secure an agreement that is equivalent to the United States in terms of tariff reductions over time.
‘‘The successful negotiation of an FTA with South Korea that is equivalent to the US in terms of tariff reductions, and sees the removal of the current 40 per cent tariff over 15 years, has been a priority for the Australian beef industry for a number of years,’’ Mr Kelly said.
‘‘It also sees the phasing out of the 22.5 per cent sheepmeat tariffs over 10 years.’’
The new agreement could return about $30 million of tariff payments back into dairy farmers’ pockets.
‘‘Our dairy farmers and processors are paying up to $35
‘‘Getting rid of import tariffs is a win for Australia’s dairy industry and for South Korean consumers.’’
According to Dairy Australia’s Trade and the Australian Dairy Industry report, the South Korean Government collected $35
In 2011-12 Australia exported 27
It is expected that the FTA with South Korea will result in import tariffs being wound down to zero over several years, but that tariff-free quotas will be put in place on specific volumes of cheese, infant formula and butter from day one of the agreement.
Rice Growers Association executive director Ruth Wade said the rice industry had worked closely with the Federal Government to develop comprehensive trade agreements including FTAs with Korea, Japan and China and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
She said the outcome for the rice industry was particularly disappointing.
‘‘Australian rice growers are recognised as the most efficient in the world. This announcement punishes Australian growers by preventing expansion into this important market,’’ Ms Wade said.
‘‘This is an FTA in name only. Trade agreements with exclusions are not free trade agreements.’’
A multimillion-dollar redevelopment of one of Shepparton’s central business districts has resulted in an influx of new customers and increased trade.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca faces a big test against Tatura at Victoria Park today.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.