The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has welcomed this week’s signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP11) in Santiago, Chile.
WFA chief executive Tony Battaglene welcomed the landmark agreement and praised the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to its important trade liberalisation agenda.
“The Australian Government has shown strong leadership in continuing to peruse TPP-11 after the US withdrew, and there will be great benefits for Australian wine producers as a result,” Battaglene said.
“TPP-11 offers tremendous opportunities for our sector through a range of tariff reductions as well as addressing non-tariff barriers.”
“Most importantly, this agreement is the first of its kind to specifically address wine-related technical barriers to trade through the inclusion of a wine and spirit annex,” he said.
New Zealand Winegrowers has also welcomed the signing and the contribution it will make to strengthening New Zealand’s economy.
Chief executive officer of New Zealand Winegrowers, Philip Gregan, said the nation has always excelled at producing and trading.
“Producing quality products and trading them with the world makes our economy strong, and means we can afford the schools, hospitals, roads and services that we all expect.”
Gregan noted that New Zealand’s trade agreements, adopted under successive governments, have been crucial to giving New Zealand businesses a fair crack at international markets.
“CPTPP is about setting clear rules, where all the signatory countries agree they will trade fairly, and within those rules.
“As a tiny trading nation, agreements like this have given New Zealand businesses a lot more certainty.
“The wine annex is a means of addressing those barriers and something we have and will continue to push strongly in all Australian trade negotiations”
That certainty means that from small beginnings, our vineyards and wineries have been able to invest, grow and now provide work for 20,000 people around the country.”
New Zealand’s wine exports to CPTPP countries were valued at $515m in the year ended June 2017, and $1.6 billion dollars in total.
Coming at a time of rising global trade tensions, New Zealand Winegrowers regarded the signing of CPTPP as a welcome affirmation that strong, clear global rules on trade are necessary to underpin the standard of living that New Zealanders have come to expect.
The CPTPP will be New Zealand’s first trade agreement with Japan, Mexico, Canada and Peru, and will immediately begin to make New Zealand wine more competitive in CPTPP markets such as Canada, Japan and Malaysia by reducing import tariffs.
Australian minister for agriculture and water resources, David Littleproud, said the trade deal would have an immediate benefit for exporters and create brand new opportunities specifically with Canada and Mexico.
“This is the world’s largest ever regional trade agreement, creating huge opportunities for our beef, sheep, dairy, sugar, wool, wine and horticulture producers in current and new markets,” Littleproud said.
Battaglene added that the signing will address non-tariff barriers that present extra costs in emerging export markets.
“The wine annex is a means of addressing those barriers and something we have and will continue to push strongly in all Australian trade negotiations.
He said the TPP-11 needs to be ratified by the majority of member countries, including New Zealand, before entering into force.