Deputy Prime Minister and new Infrastructure and Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce said the benefits from KAFTA were another powerful reminder of how critical free trade deals are for the nation’s future.
“Improving agricultural market access is a priority for the coalition government, as exports underpin the profitability of our $60 billion agriculture sector, boost farmgate returns and support Australian jobs,” Mr Joyce said.
“We worked hard to finalise KAFTA back in 2014 because we knew the significant benefits the tariff cuts could provide for Australia and we are seeing more and more of those benefits come to fruition.
“Despite strong competition from the United States and others, the reduction in beef tariffs from a pre-KAFTA 40 per cent to 26.6pc come January 1, 2018, is enabling Australia to remain a key beef supplier to Korea, with our exports worth $1.2 billion in 2016-17.
“Since KAFTA came into force on December 12, 2014, the value of our lamb exports to Korea have increased 298pc to $95.7 million in 2016-17, which is also a 96pc increase on 2015-16.”
The fifth round of tariff reductions come into effect on January 1, 2018.