Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea (KAFTA) will come into force on December 12. The announcement that the agreement will be enacted was announced by Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, and has been applauded by the Australian pork industry and by members of Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation (NFF).
NFF President Brent Finlay said the early commencement of the trade agreement was an important achievement and enabled many Australian farmers to benefit from a tariff cut before the end of 2014 and another tariff cut on January 1, 2015.
“These tariff cuts will make Australian products more attractive in the Korean market against our competitors like the United States. It provides a platform to continue to expand farm exports to what is our third largest export market,” Finlay said.
“Trade Minister Andrew Robb should be congratulated on what has been an outstanding year for trade agreements. The KAFTA, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and the recently completed China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will provide significant expanded opportunities for Australian farmers.
Under the new agreement, tariffs on key Australian pork exports of 22.5 to 25 percent will be eliminated in five to 15 years. Tariffs will also be eliminated on beef and bovine offal, raw sugar, cheese, butter, sheep meat and goat meat.
“In reality, this means more avenues to market for farm products and more potential for higher returns. As a sector, we need to ensure that we take full advantage of the South Korean agreement but also the agreements with Japan and China,” Finlay said.
Finlay said KAFTA will immediately increase export opportunities across a wide range of industries.