Australia will gain from continued Asia-pacific trade integration, says report

A new study, undertaken by economists from Brandeis International Business School and Johns Hopkins University, shows Australia stands to enjoy significant income gains under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11), which is based on an agreement among the remaining 11 members of the TPP following the United State’s withdrawal in 2017.

The report projects $15.6 billion in net annual benefits to national income by 2030 and increases in exports of $29.9 under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – which is based on an agreement among the remaining 11 members of the TPP and is likely to expand in the future.

The analysis also forecasts significant boosts to investment by 2030, with investment into Australia projected to increase $7.8 billion and additional overseas investment by Australian businesses increasing by $26 billion.

Without the United States, a reasonably diverse Asian leadership has begun to emerge. The CPTPP track has been led by Japan, the largest member of this block after the departure of the United States, with strong contributions from Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Latin American participants like Chile, and support from prospective members such as Thailand and Indonesia who in July 2018 participated in enlargement discussions.

The report also highlights that the decline from the TPP to the CPTPP can be largely offset in the CPTPP-16, which adds five economies that have already expressed strong interest in joining. For Australia, income gains in this scenario would rise to $22.1 billion, above TPP levels.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, welcomed the analysis yesterday, noting that it confirmed the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) to Australian businesses and the overall economy.

“It’s expected the TPP-11 will provide greater market access and export potential to Australian businesses and exporters in industries including farming, mining and manufacturing,” Birmingham said in a press release.

“More export opportunities for Australian businesses contributes to a stronger economy and creates more Australian jobs.

“That’s why it is important that Australia ratify the TPP-11 as soon as possible so that we can lock in the forecast benefits and avoid being at any competitive disadvantage,” the minister said.

The TPP-11 legislation is expected to be debated in the House of Representatives in the next sitting week.