Tehan: China free trade deal vital for dairy

MEMBER for Wannon Dan Tehan says the federal government is very committed to getting a good result for the dairy industry in free trade negotiations with China.

Mr Tehan met United Dairy Farmers of Victoria manager Vin Delahunty and president Tyran Jones on Friday to discuss the free trade deal.

“The government appreciates how important this free trade agreement (FTA) is to the dairy industry,” Mr Tehan said. 

“If we get a deal to at least match the one that China has with New Zealand it would put between $600 million and $1 billion back into the Australian dairy industry.”

Mr Jones said the Australian dairy industry currently faced a 10 to 15 per cent tariff on its milk and infant formula powder exports into China.

“Compare that to New Zealand, who’ve negotiated an FTA with China that imposes a tariff of less than 5 per cent on milk powders, which winds down to zero by 2019,” Mr Jones said.

The Australian dairy industry is still smarting from the poor outcome of the free trade deal with Japan agreed to earlier this year, which delivered almost nothing to the dairy sector, and drew strong criticism of the Abbott government.

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