UK-Australia free trade deal a step closer

Australia is one step closer to a new trade agreement with the United Kingdom and farmers, business owners, investors and travellers are among the beneficiaries.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan told parliament on Tuesday the free trade agreement would remove red tape and barriers to Australian exports.

He said it would send a message to the world that Australia and the UK believe in the benefits of free trade and the rules-based system.

The deal is set to remove taxes on 99 per cent of Australian exports worth $10 billion and UK imports worth $200 million.

Products include wine, seafood, grains, fruit and vegetables, honey, nuts, short and medium grain milled rice and olive oil.

It will also give Australian agricultural exporters better access to the UK market.

Tariffs on beef and sheep meat will be eliminated within 10 years, sugar tariffs will be removed over eight years and dairy tariffs will be removed over five years.

On top of tax removals, the Australian public sector will also be able to attract contract bids from the UK.

The agreement will make it easier for Australian and British citizens to travel and work in each other’s countries.

People aged up to 35 years will be eligible for a three-year working holiday visa, which was previously a two-year arrangement only open to people 30 years and under.

The free trade agreement will be examined by parliament’s treaties committee before being implemented.

Mr Tehan said he hoped that would happen within the next year.

 

Maeve Bannister
(Associated Press)

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