Archive: Australia finalises free trade deal with China

Published 19 November 14

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Australian dairy exporters are to get tariff-free access to the Chinese market for dairy products under the new free trade agreement (FTA) which concluded this week. Tariffs on Infant Formula, lactose, casein, milk albumins and ice cream, currently at 10-19%, will be eliminated within four years. Other products will be tariff-free in 9-11 years, including milk powders, which currently face a 10% tariff.

Unlike in the New Zealand FTA with China, where tariffs on a wide range of dairy products are re-instated after a trigger volume has been exceeded, all dairy exports from Australia will receive unlimited preferential access to China. The only exception to this is for whole milk powders which will face a discretionary safeguard, although the trigger volume is above current trade levels and set to rise.

China is Australia’s second-largest market for dairy exports after Japan. In 2013, Australia exported 83 thousand tonnes of dairy products to China, worth around US$303million. Milk powders accounted for 50% of exported volumes and 68% of the trade value.