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WoolProducers Australia calls for bi-partisan support for trade deal

by Sheep Central, 15 October 2018

AUSTRALIA’S wool growers are calling for bi-partisan support for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in the country’s Senate.

The free trade agreement, also known as TPP-11, is due for debate in the Senate today, was signed in March this year by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

The TPP-11 implementing legislation passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in September, and peak wool grower representative body, WoolProducers Australia (WPA) is calling for its approval by the Senate, following the Bill’s debate today.

WPA president, Richard Halliday said both sides of the Australian government must be focussed on enabling TPP-11, especially given that Australia exports 98 per cent of its wool.

“Passing the enabling legislation in the Senate will allow early ratification of TPP-11.

“This will benefit Australian wool growers as it will maintain market accessibility,” Mr Halliday said.

Wool exports to TPP-11 members totalled $35 million in 2017, with total Australian wool exports of valued at around $3.7 billion for the same period.

“All tariffs on Australian raw wool exported to TPP-11 countries will be eliminated and within the TPP-11 region, products such as yarn made from Australian wool in partnering countries will receive preferential treatment.”

“This will create increased demand for Australian wool in partnering countries because of the TPP-11 rules of origin for textiles.” Mr Halliday said.

WoolProducers said it strongly supported the implementing legislation being passed without delay, so the benefits of TPP-11 to agriculture and regional Australia in particular, can be realised quickly.

‘This is the world’s largest ever regional trade agreement.

“Australia must be a part of it given the huge opportunities it presents for wool and other agricultural exports.’ Mr Halliday said.

Source: WPA.

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