“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) puts Australia firmly in the front seat of the biggest global trade deal in 20 years,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“This is an extraordinary deal for our future prosperity and we’ve done it on our terms, something Trade Minister Andrew Robb should be congratulated for,” Ms Westacott said.
“The TPP opens up a swathe of new opportunities for Australia’s exporters to countries accounting for 40 per cent of global GDP and 70 per cent of Australia’s trade flow.
“What this means is huge opportunities for Australia to tap into global supply chains, to expand our high-value manufacturing, to supercharge our agricultural sector and to get our services exports firing on all fronts around the region.
“Together with the completion of the North Asia free trade agreements, the TPP will create a platform to power the Australian economy for decades to come.
“This historic opportunity must be grasped by the Australian Parliament, which must act responsibly and in the interests of a stronger future by ratifying the China Australia Free Trade Agreement and the TPP with no delay.
“A responsible parliament would look at the untold opportunities from these agreements to support Australian jobs and higher living standards for years to come, rather than nit picking for political reasons.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates the TPP will eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs in the TPP region, and eliminate tariffs on US$8.6 billion of Australia’s exports to TPP countries. This is unambiguously good for Australia, jobs and prosperity.
“The TPP will integrate under a common platform of trade rules 12 key Asia Pacific economies, making it simpler for Australian businesses to pursue new opportunities in multiple markets. Whether exports are operating in the United States or Japan, common rules of trade apply.
“The TPP will lower the cost of doing business with more transparent and efficient customs procedures making it easier for Australian companies to export and do business in the region.
“Commitments on state-owned enterprises will also ensure Australian businesses compete on a level playing field by setting commonly-agreed rules and promoting transparency of laws and regulations.
“The Business Council congratulates the trade minister on completing the first regional trade agreement spanning the Asia-Pacific and looks forward to swift ratification of the agreement, including from the US Congress,” she said.
For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 • Mobile 0403 241 128