The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan announced today by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.

Japan is Australia’s biggest coal customer and our second largest trading partner. In 2012-13, Australia exported $25.7 billion worth of coal, iron ore, copper and other concentrates to Japan. Coal contributed $13.7 billion of that total.

The Free Trade Agreement will provide a significant boost to Australia’s minerals exporters through a 3.2% reduction in the tariff on coking (steel making) coal.

Tariffs on aluminium hydroxide, titanium dioxide, unalloyed nickel and ferro manganese will also be reduced under the FTA. More broadly, the FTA will further strengthen the deep and complementary trade and investment relationship in mineral resources between Japan and Australia.

The Federal Government’s ongoing focus on free and open trade is strongly endorsed by the MCA. Free trade is continuing to transform the world and lift millions out of poverty.

Australian coal has helped power the transformation of the Japanese economy and will continue to contribute to Asia’s remarkable growth more generally for decades to come.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb and his team led by chief negotiator Jan Adams have delivered another strong outcome for Australia.

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