Australia has ratified the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) trade agreement, making it the sixth country to officially join the historic deal.
With six countries now having ratified the agreement, the 60-day countdown for the agreement to come into effect has begun. it will enter into force on 30 December this year. Australia joins Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore as part of the first group to ratify.
The TPP-11 removes 98 per cent of tariffs for the 11 signatory countries and covers 13 per cent of the world economy. Alongside the first six countries already ratified, the agreement will include Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Australia’s ratification came within a day of the November 1 deadline. Having formally the agreement prior to the deadline will mean Australia will be party to two tariff cuts on December 30, 2018 and January 1, 2019.
Federal trade minister Simon Birmingham said that the TPP-11 was one of the most comprehensive trade agreements in Australia’s recent history.
“Australian exporters of industrial products such as iron and steel, leather and paper products and medical equipment, who currently sell $19 billion worth of products to TPP-11 markets, will be able to grow their businesses without facing a tariff disadvantage,” Birmingham said.
Birmingham said that modelling showed Australia is forecast to see $15.6 billion in net annual benefits to national income by 2030 from the TPP-11.
“Australian farmers and businesses will particularly benefit from new high-quality free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, our first ever with these two of the world’s top 20 economies,” he said.
“For example, the Agreement will provide new access to the Canadian market for our grains, sugar and beef exporters. It will open up the growing Mexican market for our pork, wheat, sugar, barley and horticulture producers.”