Grain growers put heat on negotiators

AUSTRALIAN grain growers are moving to protect their interests during Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations this week.

The chairman of industry group GrainGrowers, Andrew Carberry, said the signing of the TPP could be really significant for the industry and it was important for Australian government negotiators to aim high, especially in relation to Japan.

"The Japanese market has long been extremely important to Australian grain growers, and the deal must improve upon the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) outcomes for our industry, and certainly not undermine them," he said.

Mr Carberry said a primary focus of GrainGrowers efforts this week would be to ensure technical barriers to trade were not raised to counteract tariffs being lowered.

"While the reduction of a tariff or removal of a quota can be highly beneficial, raising technical barriers to our exports cancels any perceived benefit from lowering a tariff," he said.

"As tariffs and quotas fall, technical barriers to trade are becoming a real crisis in world trade and this impacts Australian exports more than our competitors due to the government support their industries receive."

The TPP negotiations in Maui aim to finalise a trade deal between 12 countries surrounding the Pacific Rim, including Australia, Singapore, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Vietnam and the US.

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