ABC News (Australia)
Monday, March 13, 2006
NFF wants agriculture included in Japan FTA
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) is backing increased overseas investment between Japan and Australian agribusiness, as part of any free trade deal between the countries.
Japan is Australia’s largest importer of farm produce but maintains some of the highest tariffs in the world on products like wheat, rice, dairy and beef.
The two countries are currently conducting a joint feasibility study into a trade deal but the NFF says there’s more to gain than just tariff cuts.
The NFF’s Ben Fargher has also warned farmers will walk away from any free trade agreement (FTA) if it excludes agriculture.
"If the Japanese Government believes that they can pressure the Australian Government to do a free a trade agreement that excludes agriculture as a sector, we will oppose that deal," he said.
"Agriculture would need to be part any negotiation in a Japan free trade agreement."