The benefits stemming from Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with Japan will be felt right in the Northern Territory, with local businesses and consumers set to reap the rewards of the deal, Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said.
The landmark Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) entered into force on 15 January 2015, which Senator Scullion explained, means more than 97 per cent of Australia’s goods exports to Japan will receive preferential access, or enter duty-free, once it’s fully implemented.
“From 15 January 2015, Territory exporters will benefit from an immediate round of tariff cuts by Japan. This will be followed by another round of cuts in less than three months on 1 April,” Senator Scullion said.
Senator Scullion said given Japan is Australia’s second-largest export destination, JAEPA paves the way for a significant boost in opportunities for businesses in a range of industries including agriculture and processed foods, resources, manufacturing and services – such as financial, education, telco and legal services.
“For businesses large and small in the Territory, this will enhance their competitive position in the Japanese market, placing them ahead of other international exporters, and I urge all business people to take advantage of this and seek-out potential avenues for trade,” Senator Scullion said.
“In a big boost for Territory cattle producers, Japan has reduced the tariffs on live cattle imports from Australia by 20 per cent, with no volume restrictions.
“The Japan Free Trade Agreement has also delivered immediate tariff cuts on beef.
“For frozen beef, the tariff facing Australia has fallen from 38.5 per cent to 30.5 per cent, on day one of the agreement, giving an immediate competitive advantage. For fresh beef, the tariff facing Australia fell from 38.5 per cent to 32.5 per cent on day one. These tariffs will be further reduced over the coming years, with a second round of cuts due on 1 April.
“Other Territory industries could take advantage as the three percent tariff on mangoes was eliminated immediately as were tariffs of 5.2 per cent on pearl jewellery,” Senator Scullion said.
JAEPA is the most ambitious Free Trade Agreement Japan has concluded with a trading partner and Senator Scullion said it was not only exporters who stand to benefit.
“Consumers in the NT are also expected to gain from the Agreement, particularly those in the market for a new set of wheels; Japanese car-makers have reduced the cost of various models with savings ranging from $260 to $2600 for typical ‘family’ vehicles,” Senator Scullion said.
JAEPA is the second of three historic trade agreements concluded by the Abbott Government since coming to office. The Agreement with Korea entered into force late last year, while it is hoped the Free Trade Agreement with China will enter into force in the second half of this year.
“These agreements will benefit the Territory residents by enhancing economic growth and creating jobs, leading to greater prosperity and higher living standards for the entire community,” Senator Scullion said.
Further information on the Agreement can be found at: http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/jaepa/
Australian businesses are encouraged to use a step-by-step guide to accessing preferential tariffs on exports to Japan. The guide is available at: www.dfat.gov.au/fta/jaepa/fact-sheets/guide-to-using-jaepa-to-export-and…
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2015-01-20 Japan FTA release.pdf