Senate debates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions without Notice

Trade

2:26 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party, Minister for Agriculture) Share this | Hansard source

Australian farmers are world leaders when it comes to exporting and developing new markets. Our agricultural production is around $60 billion a year, and we export $45 billion worth of that. Our farmers rely on their exports for their livelihood. The Australian dairy council—and I know you're a big supporter of the dairy industry, Senator Henderson—supports finalising trade agreements, because they recognise that more and better access to markets is good for our dairy farmers. It's how they get a competitive price for their premium product. There's high demand around the world for safe, nutritious dairy products in international markets, and we need to capitalise on that.

Free trade agreements preferentially reduce the cost barriers to selling overseas and help us to get that product to people who need it. Just one example is the Chinese free trade agreement. Fifteen per cent tariff on infant formula—tick; already gone. Ten to 19 per cent tariff on ice cream—already gone. Elimination of 15 per cent tariff on liquid milk— (Time expired)

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