Korea-Australia FTA a boost for SA farmers

News that Australia and South Korea have concluded negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be welcome news for South Australian farmers.

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said the FTA, announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier today, would benefit many Australian industries and agriculture in particular.

“Although Australia is already the third biggest supplier to Korea for food and agriculture products, tariffs on these commodities have been a barrier in the past,” Senator Ruston said.

“The FTA recently concluded by the Abbott Government means that tariffs of up to 300% on agricultural exports like beef, wheat, wine, dairy and sugar will be eliminated.

“For example citrus – South Australia’s biggest horticultural export – is subject to a 50% tariff in Korea. The country has been identified as a key target market for Australian citrus and this FTA will assist greatly in making our product more competitive.

“Wine is a signature South Australian export product but is currently subject to a 15% tariff in Korea, while competitors such as the United States and European Union are not. Subsequently our wine industry’s exports to Korea have declined, but this FTA gives us the opportunity to take advantage of the country’s increasing appetite for quality wine.

“South Australia’s wheat, beef and potato producers also stand to benefit from the Korea-Australia FTA.

“Our state produces the best food in the world and this agreement makes it much easier for this food to appear on Korean dinner tables. Korea is a growing economy and its 50 million people are ready to taste the best South Australia has to offer.”

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