Australian red meat industry urges FTA ratification

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Queensland Country Life | 9 October 2019

Australian red meat industry urges FTA ratification

The Australian red meat industry is calling on the government to ratify two free trade agreements without delay.

The call follows the release of a joint standing committee on treaties report into the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, which determined both are in the national interest.

The chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council Don Mackay said the industry strongly endorses the outcomes.

"Indonesia is a vitally important trading partner for the Australian live cattle and beef industry - along with a steady requirement for sheepmeat," he said.

"Combined, the existing trade was worth over a $1 billion in 2018 and the benefits of ratifying and securing more trade certainty are unsurpassed.

"In addition the A-HK FTA promotes a closer economic relationship between Australia and Hong Kong and will ’lock in’ Australia’s current duty free access for red meat products."

Mr Mackay said.in 2018 Australia exported just over 7000 tonnes of beef to Hong Kong, worth $96 million, which demonstrates the importance of diverse markets.

"We applaud the efforts of the Australian Government in pursuing trade reform globally and look forward to the ratification of these two agreements," he said.

"For every 10 jobs in our industry, six rely on our trade with the world.

"Trade agreements are integral to helping ensure the competitiveness of the Australian supply chain."