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13/11/2015

Trans-Pacific trade deal another step closer

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty information.

Tony Battaglene, WFA international affairs general manager, said the TPP promises to level the playing field for Australian wine exports into the 12 signatory economies which last year accounted for 45 per cent of Australia’s total wine exports – or around $837 million out of the total $1.9 billion in total wine exported in 2014.

“Releasing the text takes the TPP another step forward to being ratified in Australia,” he said. “It is going through legal and other government due diligence but overwhelmingly it is a significant opportunity for Australian wine exporters who will see trade tariffs drawn down or removed completely as the case is into Canada.

Battaglene said the TPP agreement is the first free trade agreement in the world that has specific provisions to reduce barriers to trade arising from differing label regulations.

“Importantly this is a first step to creating a common regulatory framework in the region,” he said. “Our wines are already globally competitive so removing tariff barriers puts us on equal trade terms for the first time and that means being in a much stronger position to grow market share – it’s a win-win for wine.”

Each TPP country is now required to take the agreement to their respective Parliaments. Australian Trade and Investment Minister announced the release of the TPP negotiated text on November 5.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement has also now passed both Houses of the Australian Parliament, with tariff cuts on track to start in January.

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