South Australian primary producers win with Japan-Australia FTA

South Australian primary producers are big winners with the announcement this week that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) had been finalised between Australia and Japan.

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), concluded during Prime Minister Tony Abbott's visit to Japan this week, had significant benefits for primary industries in South Australia.

"South Australia's agricultural, food and wine exports to Japan total more than $300 million per year and this important trade relationship will only grow as a result of the JAEPA," Senator Ruston said. "Japan is the State's third largest export market for agricultural products.

"A significant portion of SA's exports to Japan is livestock and livestock products (about $100 million per year); Japanese tariffs on Australian beef will be halved and tariffs on lamb will be bound at zero.

"South Australia's seafood industry is also a big winner. Our seafood exports to Japan total around $100 million and will benefit from preferential access to the Japanese market and the elimination of tariffs on commodities like tuna and rock lobster.

"Japan is SA's largest market for horticultural produce and the JAEPA will result in the reduction of tariffs of up to 40% for oranges, 20% for apples, 20% for mandarins and 16% for nuts. The vast majority of Japanese tariffs on Australian horticultural exports will be eliminated.

"Wine producers in SA will also become more competitive in Japan with the elimination of tariffs of up to $2 per litre. Barley exporters will have increased duty-free access, tariffs on canola will be eliminated and Australia will also have preferential access for a large volume of pork and pork products.

"Japan is the world's third-largest economy and Australia's second-largest trading partner, accounting for 11% of our total trade (almost $70 billion in 2012-13) and 16% of our exports. The conclusion of the JAEPA is a fantastic outcome for Australia."

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