Winemakers welcome latest Free Trade Agreement

13 November, 2017 by Andy Young

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has welcomed the latest Free Trade Agreement that has been signed, a deal with Peru, as another important step in opening trade with the wider Latin America region.

WFA Chief Executive Tony Battaglene said a number of industries would benefit from the Peru FTA including Australian wine which recognised the region’s growth potential.

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“Peru has not been on the radar for most Australian wine exporters,” Mr Battaglene said. “We have been at a competitive disadvantage in Peru because exports from the United States, Canada and the European Union have been enjoying duty-free access under various trade deals.

“This new agreement promises Australia a slice of the action, eliminating tariffs of 9% on bottled wine exports into Peru as soon as the agreement comes into force and on other tariff lines within five years,” he said.

“While Peru alone has never been considered a major market for Australian wine, the wider region holds potential and this country could very well be the entrée. It’s also a good template for a deal with the Pacific Alliance – a trading bloc which includes Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru.”

Battaglene said all FTA’s were important in removing trade barriers and giving exporters a foot into markets on a level playing field.

“We support trade liberalisation around the world as critical to the wine industry’s future growth and resilience. Expanding global markets also delivers returns back home and that helps create robust and prosperous regional economies where our wineries are based,” he said.

“All credit must go to the Australian Government in continuing its expansive Free Trade agenda. We will continue to support its efforts to remove barriers to trade and create opportunities for Australian wineries and wine businesses into the future.”

Meanwhile hopes of reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which US President Donald Trump rejected days after he took office, were dealt a blow after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to back the new 11-nation deal.

Negotiations were underway at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, with Trade Minister agreeing in principle to a new deal, but Trudeau refused to endorse the deal, which means negotiations have continued.