The Cattle Council of Australia has welcomed the deal reached between Coalition and Labor to pass legislation for the China-Australia free trade agreement (Chafta), which will clear the way for tariff cuts before the end of the year.
CCA president Howard Smith said the ChAFTA will provide a vital opportunity for Australian grassfed beef producers to establish a long term position within the China red meat market.
“I am pleased to see both parties not only agree on the ChAFTA but also acknowledge the benefits it will provide the Australian beef industry within employment and beef exports,” Mr Smith said.
‘The Australian red meat industry has been at a distinct disadvantage in China due to our close competitors, New Zealand, which is already benefiting from their low tariffs.’
Under the Agreement, the tariffs currently levied on Australian beef of 12-25% will be eliminated within nine years of entry into force; the tariffs on offals of 12-25% will be eliminated over four to 10 years; the 5- 14% tariffs on hides and skins will be eliminated over four to eight years; and the 10% tariffs on live cattle and live sheep eliminated over four years.
“We can now look forward to an estimated $270 million increase in gross production by 2020, a welcomed addition for the entire beef industry within Australia.”
Cattle Council have supported the passing of this agreement since the beginning of negotiations 10 years ago.
‘We continued to advocate for this agreement as we believe it is an exciting opportunity to increase our market share of high quality beef into the Chinese market,” Mr Smith said.
An initial tariff cut in calendar 2015 will reduce the competitive disadvantage currently faced and ensure that the benefits of ChAFTA can begin to flow as early as possible.
Source: Cattle Council of Australia