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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 53


Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (15:03): My question is to the Minister for Trade and Investment. Will the minister inform the House how the Japan-Australia free trade agreement is proving beneficial to our exporters? How do this and other free trade agreements with our trading partners help create jobs and growth in the economy?

Mr ROBB (GoldsteinMinister for Trade and Investment) (15:03): I thank the member for her question, and I note that the member's electorate of Capricornia comprises so many agricultural enterprises well equipped to take advantage of the new free trade agreements. On this its first anniversary the Japan-Australia economic partnership agreement has already delivered exceptional gains for farmers and exporters.

Over the last year, export values for both chilled and frozen beef grew by a remarkable total of more than a quarter of a billion dollars. The export value of beef tongue, a popular dish in many Japanese restaurants, increased by 75 per cent to reach more than $52 million. Export sales of bottled wine experienced growth of 11 per cent. Bulk wine tripled in growth. There has been a more than tenfold increase in export sales of fresh table grapes. Shelled almond exporters have experienced similar results. Export sales of frozen shrimp and prawn increased 90 per cent, rolled oats increased up to 62 per cent, oranges are up 77 per cent and asparagus is up 44 per cent. These are remarkable increases from established markets across the board. We have seen similar gains through our FTA with Korea.

In other recent developments, our historic free trade agreement with China entered into force on 20 December, before Christmas. As a result, more than 86 per cent of our goods exports, worth $90 billion, are now entering China today duty free. Also just before Christmas the 163 members of the World Trade Organization agreed to abolish all agricultural export subsidies, something that has bedevilled our industry for decades and decades. This remarkable agreement will bring an end to more than $15 billion of agricultural subsidies, phasing out export subsidies on beef, pork, sugar, lamb, dairy, wheat, rice, wine, fruit, vegetables, processed foods and also cotton. Again, this is another major win for Australian farmers and will give a lot more confidence to investors and farmers alike on our agricultural prospects.

I am also pleased to confirm that tomorrow I will travel to New Zealand to formally sign the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a deal covering almost 40 per cent of global GDP. This offers enormous prospects for driving growth and jobs in Australia. We have made some important gains, but there is a lot more to be done. Our aggressive trade agenda is a central part of our strategy to drive new sources of growth and job creation in this post-mining-boom period.