Australia and China sign joint statement on enhancing agricultural trade – April 2017

Filed under: Politics, Foreign Affairs, Trade and industry, Trade,

The Australian Government has signed a joint statement with China to deliver greater market access for Australia’s red meat and live animal export industries.

The deal which also promotes food safety and security is a key outcome of the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and is estimated to be worth in excess of $400 million a year for Australia’s meat industry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the joint statement would expand and improve Australia’s meat market access by allowing more meat and live animal exporters access to China and progressing new trade opportunities.

Mr Joyce signed the joint statement with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He described it as a valuable and mutually beneficial agreement.

He said it would unlock a number of trade restrictions currently in place to support Australian meat and livestock exports including:

  • expanding the chilled meat trade and expediting the listing of 15 additional establishments eligible to export meat to China;
  • advancing Australia’s access for tripe exports to China and initiating trade in donkey meat and edible skins to China; and
  • promoting a protocol for the export of Australian slaughter sheep and goats.

“China is already Australia’s largest sheep meat market, worth $240 million in 2016, and is our fourth largest beef market worth $670 million in the same year,” Mr Joyce said.

“Together Australia and China are focused on promoting food security and safety and ensuring continued access to safe, high quality and reliable produce.”

A Salmon Statement of Intent (SOI) was also signed between the ministers to progress negotiations on trade in salmon sourced from approved countries, processed in China, and exported to Australia.

“Today’s agreement will enable Australian beef producers to continue meeting China’s growing demand for high-quality beef,” Mr Joyce said.

“This, alongside continued tariff cuts under China-Australia free trade agreement would bring further significant benefits for regional Australia and employment in the red meat industry.”

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