Tehan welcomes new trade partnership

·1-min read

Trade Minister Dan Tehan has welcomed the coming into force of a key regional partnership, saying it gives Australian farmers and businesses access to the world's largest free trade agreement.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) comes into force on Saturday for Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Republic of Korea will follow on February 1.

"With Australian-made products and services held in such high regard in these markets, RCEP is a fantastic opportunity for Australian businesses," Mr Tehan said in a statement.

"By streamlining requirements around rules of origin, RCEP will advantage local sourcing of goods and promote collaboration through regional value chains, which our businesses are primed to partake in."

Mr Tehan said RCEP improves on existing trade agreements in areas of the greatest growth potential, such as services, digital trade and two-way investment.

He said Saturday also marked another set of annual tariff cuts coming into force for Australia's free trade agreements, including the CPTPP and the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).

Australian bluefin tuna and Atlantic salmon exporters benefit from Japanese tariffs falling to 1.9 per cent under the CPTPP on Saturday, while tariffs on sheep and goat meat exports fell by half to 2.25 per cent under KAFTA.

"International trade is integral to business recovery from COVID-19. The entry into force of RCEP and further tariff cuts through our other free trade agreements will help create Australian jobs and foster economic growth for our nation," Mr Tehan said.

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