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Australia Signs Landmark Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement

Following through on the Christmas deadline, Australia has signed off on a landmark Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement.

The recent FTA will result in Australian exports to the UK being cheaper, create new opportunities for workers, young people and businesses and further strengthen the special relationship between our countries.

The AUS/UK is the most comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement that Australia has concluded, other than with New Zealand. It is also the first free trade agreement struck by the UK since it left the European Union.

Once the FTA is in force, exporters will benefit from the immediate elimination of tariffs on over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports to the UK, valued at around $9.2 billion.

[This Free Trade Agreement] demonstrates our countries’ commitment to free trade as a driver of economic growth and stronger bilateral relationships.

The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Aussie farmers will have improved access to more than 65 million UK consumers, greatly increasing our economic potential.

Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement Delivers Benefits Across The Board

  • Around $43 million in annual customs duties will be removed from Australian wine when the agreement enters into force.
  • Beef – a tariff-free quota of 35,000 tonnes at entry into force will expand to 110,000 tonnes in year 10. Tariffs on beef will be eliminated after ten years.
  • Sheep Meat – a tariff-free quota of 25,000 tonnes at entry into force will expand to 75,000 in year 10. Tariffs on sheep meat will be eliminated after ten years.
  • Sugar – a tariff-free quota of 80,000 tonnes at entry into force will expand to 220,000 tonnes in year 8. Sugar tariffs will be eliminated after eight years.
  • Professionals will have the same access to the UK’s lucrative jobs market as their European competitors. Australian job seekers will be able to compete on an equal footing with EU nationals in the UK for the first time in more than 40 years.
  • Australian households and businesses will save around $200 million a year as tariffs on British imports into Australia, such as cars, whisky, confectionery, biscuits and cosmetics, are phased out within five years, with tariffs on almost all UK goods being eliminated on entry into force.
  • Australian businesses will have the guaranteed right to bid for a greater variety of UK government contracts in a procurement market worth an estimated half-a-trillion dollars annually.
  • UK businesses will be encouraged to invest in Australia thanks to best practice investment rules, including to set up regional headquarters in Australia to leverage our network of free trade agreements.

FTA To Open Up Two-Way Trade in 2022

The agreement is set to be brought into force in 2022, allowing Australian exporters, farmers, workers, businesses and consumers can access the benefits of this gold standard agreement as soon as possible.

When the Australia-UK FTA enters into force, around 75 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade will be covered by free trade agreements, representing preferential access to 2.9 billion customers.

Source: Media Release, The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment & The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister

Original photo by Sabrina Mazzeo on Unsplash

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