FTAs signed but not yet in force
In November 2008 the Government announced that it would participate in negotiations for a Trans–Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Building on the Trans–Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore (which entered into force in 2006) TPP negotiations included the United States of America, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada, Japan and Australia. The negotiations commenced in 2010 and concluded on 5 October 2015 in Hawaii, USA. The Agreement was signed by the Parties in New Zealand on 4 February 2016 and is currently undergoing ratification by each participating country. For Australia, the TPP text was tabled in the parliament on 9 February 2016 and referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for inquiry. The 12 countries that negotiated the TPP comprise almost 40 per cent of the world’s GDP, with one third of Australia’s trade in goods and services with the other 11 TPP parties. The TPP is a high quality, comprehensive 21st century free trade agreement that increases economic integration in the Asia Pacific region. It provides new market access opportunities for exporters, more seamless regional trade and addresses contemporary trade challenges such as state-owned enterprises, e-commerce and the development of small and medium sized enterprises. For agriculture the TPP eliminates tariffs on $4.3 billion of Australia’s dutiable exports and provides preferential access for a further $2.1 billion of exports through new quotas and tariff reductions. Beef, dairy, sugar, rice, grains and wine will all see new access.
The latest information on the TPP is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
FTAs under negotiation
Negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) commenced on 26 September 2012. The second round of negotiations were held on 29-31 July in Canberra, and countries met most recently at an intersessional meeting in Bali on 11-12 November 2013. IA-CEPA aims to strengthen and expand the trade, investment and economic cooperation relationship between Australia and Indonesia. It is expected that the IA-CEPA will build on the outcomes of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. A pilot project on agriculture, focused on red meat and tropical fruits, is under consideration.
Australia and India launched negotiations on the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) on 12 May 2011. The fifth round of CECA negotiations was held in Canberra in May 2013. Agriculture related issues are still to be discussed in detail.
The Government announced on 18 August 2009 that Australia would commence negotiations on a new regional trade and economic integration agreement with the Pacific Forum. Known as the PACER Plus negotiations, these involve Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Australia's primary objective with PACER Plus is a more sustainable and prosperous Pacific.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations were launched on 20 November 2012. RCEP is an ASEAN centred agreement which will initially include the ten ASEAN countries and the six countries with which ASEAN has separate free trade agreements (FTAs): Australia-New Zealand, India, Japan, China and Korea. RCEP will support improved Australian trade with a group of countries which accounts for almost half the world’s population and 60 per cent of Australian exports of agricultural, fisheries and forestry products.
Gulf Cooperation Council
Negotiations on an FTA with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remain on hold while the GCC reviews its trade agreement policies. Negotiations on an FTA started on 30 June 2007 with four rounds of negotiations having been held, the most recent taking place in June 2009. The agreement would provide an opportunity to address a range of tariff and non-tariff barriers related to our agricultural exports.