Vic gov to back TPP, cites growth and opportunities

The Victorian state government has made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) backing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) after commissioning a first of its kind report to support its cause.

According to the state government, the report uses rigorous economic modelling to analyse the opportunities the trade deal would present for Victorian businesses.

Australia signed the revised deal, known as the TPP-11, in March and it is now being reviewed by the JSCOT before being put before both houses of Parliament.

Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis made a submission detailing Victoria’s assessment of the TPP-11 as a positive step that will create greater export opportunities and economic growth for Victoria.

“Victoria’s international trading relationships play a crucial role in keeping our economy strong and creating jobs for locals. The Federal Government has the data and they are doing the deal, so they should also be doing the analysis. We need to be confident that this agreement is in the best interest of both Victoria and Australia,” said Dalidakis.

The state government commissioned Grant Thornton Australia to provide detailed analysis of the commercial opportunities that TPP-11 will provide. Victoria is the only jurisdiction – state or federal – to assess the opportunities and challenges presented by the free trade agreement.

The analysis found that once implemented, the TPP-11 would provide greater access to goods than Australia’s existing free trade agreements.

The state government is now calling on the Federal Government to undertake its own independent economic modelling and analysis to identify the costs and benefits for the public, the parliament and the community.

While a free trade agreement will not benefit all sectors equally, no sector or business should be worse off as a result. We know that responsible analysis and transparent communication with the community will build the trust and consensus to make this possible.

The withdrawal of the United States presents opportunities for Australian agricultural exporters selling into markets like Japan and Vietnam, but they will also face increased competition from the likes of Canada and New Zealand.

Trade with the TPP-11 group is crucial to the Victorian economy, according to the Victorian state government – these countries accounted for almost a quarter of Victoria’s goods exports in 2017, including 40 per cent of Victoria’s dairy exports, 32 per cent of wheat exports and 22 per cent of beef exports.