Australia-EU FTA would boost Australia’s network of Free Trade Agreements

The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the launch of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and the European Union which will present significant opportunities to boost trade, investment and economic engagement with Europe.

Australia already has FTAs with four of its top five trading partners – China, Japan, the United States and South Korea.

An FTA with the EU – which comprises 22.5 per cent of world GDP – would be a significant addition to Australia’s network of bilateral and regional FTAs which support exports and jobs in Australia.

While the EU is not as significant a market for Australian mining exports as the economies of East Asia, coal, gold and lead are amongst Australia’s largest goods exports to the EU, worth around $8.8 billion in 2017.

The EU has relatively low tariffs on most resources commodities. However, there are a number of minerals and metals commodities where it imposes tariffs of up to nine per cent, including aluminium, lead, zinc, titanium and antimony.

An Australia-EU FTA provides an opportunity to remove these tariffs on Australian resources exports.

Australian mining could also benefit from reductions in Australian tariffs on European mining-related equipment and manufactures such as machinery, heavy vehicles and chemicals.

The FTA negotiations will also focus on services, investment, and business regulation – areas where there are opportunities to enhance the wider economic relationship between Australia and the EU.

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