Article – PGA backs tariff cuts in new Japan free trade deal

8 April 2014
ABC News
The Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) of WA has welcomed news of Australia’s new free trade agreement with Japan.
The deal was announced yesterday and will cut tariffs on Australian frozen and chilled beef, as well as a host of other agricultural products.
PGA spokesman Sheldon Mumby says the deal should allow beef farmers to regain some of the market share that has been lost to the United States over recent years due to bans on US beef in other countries.
Mr Mumby says it will also be a boon to agricultural producers in the state.
“Here in WA we supply close to 75 per cent of all noodle wheat going into Japan, so any relaxation on tariffs is just a benefit for the producers here in WA,” he said.
Mr Mumby says he is hopeful that the tariff reductions will enable Australia to regain its position as the biggest exporter of frozen and chilled beef to Japan.
“This will allow us to once again get back into the market which we’ve seen the US come in quite heavily over the past three years,” he said.
The Greens say they will look closely at the detail of the free trade agreement before saying where they stand on it.
The Federal Government says billions of dollars of economic benefits will flow from the deal but Greens’ leader Christine Milne says she is skeptical.
“Certainly I welcome the fact that we might be able to see more exports getting into Japan and expanding markets there with reduced tariffs but let’s have a look at the detail because it is over a long period of time,” she said.
Courtesy of ABC News