Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations enter important phase


Beef Central (Australia) 

August 13, 2019


NEGOTIATIONS over the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement continue to build momentum, as shown by this week’s launch of public consultations on the use of Geographic Indications.


Chair of the Australia-EU Red Meat Market Access Taskforce, Andrew McDonald, said the announcement by the Australian Government regarding consultations on GIs (a Geographical Indication or ‘GI’ is an indication that identifies the product originating in a specific region or locality) was a positive sign that negotiations were progressing in a constructive manner.


“The Taskforce is an advocate of a comprehensive A-EU FTA and therefore endorses and welcomes the Government’s efforts to progress consultations that support these vitally important negotiations,” Mr McDonald said.


“Political leaders on both sides have recognised that discussions on agriculture and geographical indications will be among the most difficult aspects of the A-EU FTA negotiations.


“The EU has made it very clear that the protection of certain GIs is of utmost importance to their FTA ambitions. Our government and industry are similarly ambitious about getting the best possible market access outcome for Australian beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat.”


Australian beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat are currently significantly constrained by EU tariff quotas. In terms of country specific access, Australian exporters have only a 7150 tonne high quality beef quota (with a 20pc in quota tariff) and a 19,186t combined sheepmeat/goatmeat quota (0pc in quota tariff) – which represent tiny proportions of the EU’s ongoing imported meat requirements...