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August 5, 2014

Australia-Japan Bilateral Trade Deal Signing – An Overview

Japanese PM Shiko Abe’s visit to Australia from July 7-10 was highlighted by the signing of a historic free trade deal – the Economic Partnership Agreement between Australia. It will make Japanese goods easily available to Australian consumers and help Australian exporters tap into the lucrative Japanese market. Some of the key outcomes of the deal include the below –

1.   Food exporters

a. Meat – The biggest gainer in the deal is the Australian meat industry. Being the main agricultural export to Japan with exports valued at $1.4 billion, the industry is expected to gain significantly with reduction of tariffs such as the below

•   Fresh beef falls from 38.5% to 23.5% in 5 years

•   Frozen beef falls from 38.5% to 19% in phases

b. Dairy products – This segment also sees huge gains in form of

•   Zero duty quotas for Australian cheese

•   New opportunities for milk protein, ice cream, yogurt and lactose

c.   Bottled wine too gets 15% tariff cut.

d.   Seafood – The segment has provided for attractive tariff reductions on crustaceans and lobsters. Australia’s largest export – the Atlantic Salmon and Tuna sees tariff elimination over 10 years.

e.   The $111 million worth vegetable, juice, fruits and nuts industry too sees rapid tariff elimination in the near future.

2.   Industrial exporters – While coal, liquefied natural gas and iron ore currently enjoy duty-free entry to Japan, this benefit is now extended to coke, semi-coke, titanium dioxide, non-crude petroleum oils, unwrought nickel, ferro-manganese, pearl jewellery and paints

3.   Service suppliers – Guaranteed cross border access to Japanese areas are provided to providers of financial service, portfolio management service, legal service, telecom service and education. Professionals such as architects and accountants gain easy market access and visa assistance. 

4.   Consumers – With 5% reduction in tariff in Japanese good entering Australia, consumers can now enjoy everything from imported Japanese cars, electrical goods, electronics, toys, to sushi and sake at reduced rates. 

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