Launch of public consultations on Geographical Indications
The Morrison Government is seeking the views ofAustralian producers and businesses as it continues to work towards securing anambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union (EU).
Minister for Trade, Tourism and InvestmentSimon Birmingham said the public consultation process on GeographicalIndications, which opens today, would give industry a three month opportunityto express their views on the EU's proposed list of protected terms known as'Geographical Indications' or GIs.
"We want to hear directly from Australianfarmers and businesses so that we can fully represent them in our continuingnegotiations with the EU," Minister Birmingham said.
"There are enormous opportunitiesfor Australian farmers and businesses if we can improve their access to marketsacross the EU. The EU boasts more than 500 million consumers and, even withexisting trade restrictions, it is already Australia's third largest exportmarket.
"Whilst we understand theimportance the EU places on geographical indications, our priority is ensuringour farmers and businesses can get better market access and be more competitivein the EU.
"This consultation process will help us betterunderstand the views of Australian industry, which will assist us in ourongoing discussions with the EU on why their requested protection of certainterms will not be acceptable in some cases.
"Australians can be confident that we willdrive a very hard bargain – as we always do – to achieve an overall agreementthat delivers more opportunity for Australian farmers and businesses.Ultimately, we will only do this deal if overall it is in Australia's intereststo do so."
Given wine GIs are already protected under Australia'sexisting wine agreement with the EU, this public objections process excludesany wine terms.
As a bloc, the EU is Australia's second largesttrading partner, third largest export destination, and second largest servicesexport market. Australia and the EU have a close trading relationship, with$109 billion in two-way goods and services trade last year.