16 October 2019

The Morrison Government has today introduced the necessary legislation into the House of Representatives for Australia to ratify our free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the creation of new export opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses was a key pillar in the Morrison Government’s economic plan.

“These free trade agreements will open new doors and deliver wide-ranging benefits for Australian exporters,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Our Government is committed to ensuring that the benefits from these agreements are realised as soon as possible and that is why we intend for this legislation to pass the House next week and the Senate by the end of the year.

“For example, Australian grain growers will be able to export 500 000 tonnes of feed grains each year into Indonesia tariff free, building on our already substantial milling wheat exports.

“Under our deal with Hong Kong zero tariffs will be locked-in on goods, market access will be guaranteed for services suppliers, and conditions for two-way investment will be significantly improved.

“Australian dairy farmers will have historic new access to the Peru market, with zero tariffs locked-in from day one on 7,000 tonnes of products.

“Ratification of these agreements would build on the success our Government has had in growing Australian exports to record levels and delivering record trade surpluses that are making a major contribution to our economy and to creating more Australian jobs,” said Minister Birmingham.  

Last week the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) released its report on the Indonesia and Hong Kong agreements, recommending binding treaty action be taken as soon as possible.  JSCOT has previously recommended binding treaty action for our agreement with Peru.

The governments of Hong Kong and Peru have already completed their domestic procedures to bring the agreements into force, and the Indonesian Government is continuing to work through its domestic treaty-making processes.