BEEF producers are urging the Australia Govenrment to step-up trade negotiations with South Korea.
They say without a deal, a $770 million export market is at stake.
Australia's biggest competitor in the market, the US, has negotiated a trade deal that is putting them at a distinct advantage and producers here are calling for the Commonwealth to act.
Representatives from Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Lot Feeders Association and the Australian Meat Industry Council have recently visited Korea, Australia's third-largest beef export market in volume terms.
The industry representatives discussed the negative impacts the lack of a free trade agreement is having on Australian beef exports to Korea.Major competitor, the US, has signed off an FTA with the Asian nation. It means that a 40 per cent tariff on their imports will reduce to zero over 15 years.
Cattle industry leaders are warning that without our own FTA, Australian beef will be priced out of the market by the US competitors.
According to a joint media statement, released today by the CCA, ALFA and AMIC, modelling by the Centre for International Economics indicates that without a similar FTA with Korea, the Australian beef industry will incur a cumulative loss of around A$1.4 billion over the 15 years that the tariff on US beef is reduced to zero.
The statement says this would see Australia’s share of the imported beef market in Korea halve - falling from the current 49 per cent to just 26 per cent by 2026.
In addition to the beef sector’s impacts, there is a broader opportunity cost to Australia of not securing an Australia]Korea Free Trade Agreement– the foregone increase in the present value of Australia’s real GDP of US$22.7 billion, it says.
The industry is calling on the federal government to finalising the trade negotiations with Korea to ensure Australia doesn’t lose it as its major market.
Federal Trade Minister Craig Emerson said the Government was doing everything possible to strike an agreement.