Taking action on trade barriers

07 December 2018

The Liberal-National Government has today launched a new Action Plan tohelp Australian farmers and businesses tackle trade barriers, helping them gettheir goods into overseas markets faster, with greater ease and at a lowercost.

Minister for Trade, Tourism andInvestment Simon Birmingham said Australia's free trade agreements had openedup new market access for Australian exporters, but they were still beinghampered by non-tariff barriers such as excessive regulation and redtape.

"Our trading partners have the right to settrade rules that protect their citizens and the environment just as we do inAustralia. But sometimes unnecessary rules are imposed that can put ourexporters at a disadvantage and restrict the flow of goods," MinisterBirmingham said.

"Our government has had more success removingtariff barriers on Australian exports to other nations than any other, helpingthe exports from our farmers and businesses to boom. However, the rise ofnon-tariff barriers is evidence that we cannot declare mission accomplished andmust be vigilant in our continued efforts to protect and enhance market accessfor our exporters.

"This Action Plan will help us better identifyand address unfair obstacles for our exporters and make it as easy as possiblefor them to export their high-quality goods and services to the world."

Minister for Industry, Science and TechnologyKaren Andrews said the Liberal-National Government was standing-up forAustralian industry and businesses by taking on trade barriers in overseasmarkets and making it easier for them to access the help they need.

"This Action Plan means a more coordinatedapproach to remove non-tariff barriers so exporters can have more clarity onthe range of government support services available to them - both here andoverseas," Minister Andrews said.

"It will also look at the capabilities of ourtrade officials, technical experts and diplomats and ensure they have theskills and knowledge to better support Australian exporters."

Minister for Agriculture and WaterResources David Littleproud said the Action Plan would complement the 22Agricultural Counsellors employed overseas, who work with importing countriesto remove technical barriers to trade.

"Removing trade barriers meansAussie farmers can get their produce into more countries, make more money andemploy more people."

Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton said the ActionPlan will support closer collaboration between government and industry.

"A dedicated non-tariff barrierswebsite and coordination team will now make it simpler for businesses to reporttrade barriers and find the help theyneed to overcome these barriers."

Exporters can read the new Action Plan and report non-tariff trade barriers by going to www.tradebarriers.dfat.gov.au.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555