ONE YEAR: Federal member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has been in office for one year.
ONE YEAR: Federal member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has been in office for one year. Mike Knott

New Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

QUEENSLAND Federal MPs Ken O'Dowd and Keith Pitt have welcomed the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement with the news that for the first time in more than two decades, Australia has secured guaranteed new access to the US sugar market.

Member for Flynn Mr O'Dowd and Member for Hinkler Mr Pitt congratulated Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb for ensuring Australia gets a fair say in negotiations.

Mr O'Dowd called the agreement a "landmark" for agricultural industries, with tariffs on beef products being further reduced than in previous agreements, and improved market access into Japan for dairy products.

"This deal is a landmark agreement that brings together twelve major trading partners, and we have seen improvements across the board," he said.

"Tariffs on processed meat products and offal into Japan will be eliminated, tariffs on beef carcasses into Mexico will be eliminated, and improved market access into Japan means that tariffs will be eliminated on certain cheese products."

Mr Pitt said sugarcane growers will also reap the benefits from improved market access into Japan.

"Cane farming families will benefit from the elimination of tariffs on exports to Japan and a reduction of $25 per tonne in the levy of high polarity sugar exports," he said.

"Sugar exports to Japan were worth $200 million last year, and this is something that we would definitely like to build on."

Mr O'Dowd and Mr Pitt both recognise the sugar component of the deal did not go as far as some would like, but Mr O'Dowd is adamant that the deal is a step in the right direction.

"A win is a win and despite not getting the outcome that the sugar industry might have liked, the deal is a giant positive over the alternative, which is to have no deal at all,"he said.

The new deal will see an increase of 65,000 tonnes base allocation for Australian sugar into the US market, bringing the total allocation to 152,000 tonnes, with an additional twenty-three per cent share of future allocations into the US market.

Both MPs expressed enthusiasm for the overall effects of the TPP, which will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in the TPP region, removing import taxes on around $9 billion of Australian trade.

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