Joyce: Farmers reaping rewards of Japan trade deal

Beef Central, 04/09/2015

Federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce says primary producers and exporters across Australia are already seeing boosts to their bottom line as a result of tariff cuts gained under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

Labor’s relentless attack on the future prosperity of rural and regional Australia through its opposition to the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has today been proven all the more irresponsible given clear evidence of the benefits now flowing through to farmers from only six months trade following the 15 January 2015 entry into force of Australia’s free trade deal with Japan.



“Despite the fact JAEPA only entered into force in January this year, exports have exploded across the board, driving solid profits back to the farmgate,” Minister Joyce said.

“Beef exports for the first six months of 2015 have increased by 31 per cent compared with the same period last year—a huge result in our second biggest export market for beef, worth a total $1.9 billion in 2014–15.

Other commodity sectors to show increases included fresh horticulture exporters, up by almost 15 per cent for the first half of 2015, table grapes exports, which had grown from zero to$10.5 million in 2015 and seafood exports.

Minister Joyce said that tariffs were set to continue to gradually reduce across a range of commodities, making exports even more attractive.

“These results mean real increases in returns to farmers—and tariffs are set to drop even further over the lifetime of the agreement,” Minister Joyce said.

“Not only that, but JAEPA has also provided access to new quotas for a range of products saving exporters about $2.9 million in tariffs to the end of May 2015.”

The Minister said the benefits achieved under the JAEPA highlighted the “irresponsible” stance Labor was taking by opposing the ChAFTA.

“ChAFTA will continue the delivery of real benefits to Australian primary producers and the rural and regional communities they support but the cost of Labor’s opposition to this agreement could be devastating.

“Australia is a trading nation—and our agriculture sector epitomises this. Our farm exports have underpinned the nation’s economic prosperity for generations, and we’re determined to ensure we are well placed to meet some of the huge projected rise of global demand for food and fibre, driven by population growth and rising incomes in developing economies.

“We also face stiff competition from other nations who export the same products into these markets—and agreements like JAEPA and ChAFTA give us the edge.

“For instance, under JAEPA, tariffs for Australian beef are now almost 25 per cent less than the tariff faced by the United States, our biggest competitor in this market.

“Negotiating comprehensive trade agreements with our key trading partners is a part of our plan for Australian agriculture and that’s why this government tirelessly pursues the best trade and market access opportunities on behalf of our exporters—and the proof is in the pudding. Labor must free itself from the servitude of its union masters and do what’s right by Australia.”

Source: Federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce. For more information on JAEPA, visit


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  1. Sandy Matz, 22/10/2015

    Great news Barnaby… It is important that we can facilitate the reduction of tariffs to get to equalization so that we can start to compete on an even playing field. With transport across the world becoming more viable and thus markets opening up to us to the ‘lay’ person it only seems like common sense for us to be involved and and thus provide opportunities for our regional people to participate instead of being locked into local markets and local supermarket pressures. Options for all can only be a fairer and more flexible way of rural people trading in lieu of being given limited choices.

  2. Liam O'Dea, 05/09/2015

    Do you think that the falling AU$ might b e the main reason for these results?

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