NEW US president Donald Trump’s unceremonious withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact has brought home the importance of trade pathways for cattle producers.
Peak producer group Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) said opening up trade pathways and reducing technical trade barriers was key to ensuring Australia’s beef industry remained globally competitive.
President Howard Smith said producers wanted the government to find a way to move forward on the TPP.
“Cattle Council remain supportive of the principles of the TPP and believe it would be a major win for the entire beef industry supply chain as well as consumers – by improving market access, lowering import costs and reducing red tape,” Mr Smith said.
“There are still eleven other countries committed to participating in the TPP and we support the Government’s commitment to find a way to move forward with it.”
Cattle Council continue to support the TPP and its principles, as it will deliver improved access conditions to Canada and Mexico for the red meat industry and reduction of tariffs on beef exported to Japan, he said.
Mr Smith conceded it was disappointing the US won’t be involved in the TPP, but said we now need to look to other avenues of furthering trade relations.
“The US remains a substantial market for Australian produce and while the America’s involvement in the TPP would have been beneficial for international trade relations, we must move forward,” Mr Smith said.
Should the TPP not go ahead, Cattle Council will look to the government to pursue bi-lateral negotiations with other key trading partners while pursuing on going trade liberalisation through multi-lateral agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
“We are a trading nation – liberalised trade only brings benefit to the beef industry,” Mr Smith said.