March 21, 2013

Media Release: Australian Sugar Industry Alliance

Japan the next to open trade with Australia?

Australian sugar has welcomed news that Japan is considering entry to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

According to the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance, Japan is a longstanding trading partner of the Australian sugar industry. Japan has the reputation of having one of the most protected agricultural and sugar sectors in the world.

“It is important that Japan comes to the negotiations with a strong commitment to the TPP’s underlying principles; it must be a comprehensive agreement that delivers commercially meaningful trade outcomes, including for sugar,” says Alf Cristaudo, Chairman of ASA.

“This must address the rules of origin that facilitate trade and there must be NO exclusions. Japan must accept progress made to date, with no back trading,” he says.

The Australian Sugar Alliance says it is important that Japan’s entry does not stand in the way of the timely development of a TPP agreement which facilitates the development of agricultural trade and strengthens production and supply chains throughout the region.

“By eliminating import tariffs, levies and surcharges and other import barriers including quotas, the TPP can improve market outcomes for the region’s efficient producers, expand consumer choices, enhance competitiveness, strengthen supply chains and improve the Asia-Pacific region’s food security,” says Cristaudo.

“The challenge for TPP negotiators is to break the shackles of protectionism to unleash trade – the most powerful driver of economic growth and development on the planet.”

COMMENT from Canadian Sugar Institute:

The Canadian sugar industry likewise supports Japan’s entry to the TPP assuming a strong commitment to liberalizing trade in sugar and sugar-containing food products. It is also essential that Japan support the principle of cumulation of inputs within the region to maximize regional integration and permit greater efficiency in production and trade across the TPP region. Restrictive rules of origin for sugar and sugar-containing products have no place in a comprehensive and ambitious regional agreement.