CANBERRA, Australia – The red meat and livestock industries in Australia stand to make big gains under a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the deal Nov. 17 in Canberra.

Under the agreement, $11 billion in tariffs will be phased out. Tariffs on beef of 12-25 percent will eliminated over nine years; sheep meat and goat meat tariffs of 15-23 percent will be eliminated over eight years; tariffs on offals of 12-25 percent will be eliminated over four to eight years; and 10 percent tariffs on live cattle and live sheep will be eliminated over four years.

“These ChAFTA benefits will add significant value to the Australian red-meat and livestock industry and complement the gains derived from the other FTAs Australia has concluded to date,” said David Larkin, chairman of the Australian Red Meat ChAFTA Taskforce.

“The current tariffs imposed on Australian beef, sheep meat and co-products exported to China represent an annual tax on the supply chain of around $826 million,” Larkin added. “The gradual removal of this cost burden will positively impact the profitability of Australian cattle and sheep producers, processors and exporters, not to mention alleviation of the inflated prices paid for Australian red meat and associated products by Chinese customers and consumers.”

Once fully implemented, the gross value of Australian beef production will increase by $270 million annually by 2024. The total benefits for Australian beef will reach $3.3 billion by 2030. The sheep industry could realize $150 million each year by 2024, while total benefits to the industry will be in excess of $1.8 billion.