Call to finalise Peru deal

By Country News

The Australian Dairy Industry Council has urged the Federal Parliament to expedite binding treaty action on the already-negotiated trade deal with Peru.

Negotiations were completed with Peru in November 2017, and the agreement has twice been reviewed by the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

ADIC chair Terry Richardson said the industry had been advised that Peru had already signed off on the agreement and does not want Australia to be seen to be lagging behind where improved market access is at stake.

‘‘This agreement includes a good outcome for Australian dairy,’’ Mr Richardson said.

‘‘It in fact provides better dairy market access when compared to the recently signed Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement — of which both Australia and Peru are member countries.

‘‘Peru has historically been a sensitive market for Australian dairy exports, but this agreement gives our industry Country Specific Quota access, which actually exceeds the volume of trade in recent years.

‘‘This provides improved certainty for Australian exporters into Peru, and helps keep Australian dairy on a level playing field with competitors such as the EU and the US, who already have their own deals in place with Peru.

‘‘We have been advised that there are a couple of issues such as ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) which seem to be holding up the progress of implementation by our parliament, but our advice is that these issues are no different to provisions included in recently ratified agreements, such as CPTPP.’’

Mr Richardson said the ratification of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement would be positive news for the Australian dairy industry, as dairy farmers continued to face a particularly challenging season.