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Free Trade Agreement now a Done Deal

Free Trade Agreement now a Done Deal

2021-12-24

On 17th December 2021, the Australia–United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) was signed. Tying together the shared threads of history, and the nation’s commitment to open, rules-based trade, the A-UKFTA will deliver mutual benefits and create a closer and stronger economic future for us both. The United Kingdom is Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner. Once the A-UKFTA is in force, expected during the course of 2022, it will open up new commercial opportunities for Australian businesses and promote job creation. It will eliminate tariffs on trade in goods and remove red tape that slows trade down.

Building on Australia’s strong people-to-people links, the A-UKFTA will enhance mobility pathways for workers and young people who wish to work in the UK, while making it easier for Australian service companies and professionals to do business there. Moreover, it will deepen the already strong investment ties with our second-largest source of foreign investment.

Key Points of A-UKFTA Deal

A key negotiating objective of the A-UKFTA has been achieved with the agreement offering improved access for agricultural products in a market that had largely been closed off due to high tariffs on Australian farm exports since the UK joined the European Union in the early 1970s.

The A-UKFTA will support farmers by eliminating tariffs and removing red tape that slows trade down. Australia exported around $724 million worth of agricultural goods to the UK in 2020, representing just 1.5 per cent of Australia’s total exports of these products.

Key outcomes:
• Immediate elimination of tariffs on goods such as wine, short and medium-grain rice, honey, nuts, and olive oil.
• Immediate access to duty-free transitional quotas for key agriculture products, including beef and sheep meat, sugar and dairy, with eventual tariff elimination.
• Immediate elimination of tariffs on $841 million of Australia’s dutiable exports to the UK.
• A reduction in costs and red tape by making it simpler for traders to prove the originating status of their goods.
• Faster customs clearance timeframes provide greater certainty to exporters.
• Transparent trade and investment rules so savings can be made on administrative costs when trading with the UK.
• Australia will ensure we can further support agriculture and agribusiness by outlining visa pathways to facilitate mobility for those involved in agricultural work.
• A range of commitments to ensure technical barriers to trade do not discriminate or create unnecessary obstacles.

Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)