How will Trans Pacific Partnership Help Australia’s Mining Industry?

Trans Pacific Partnership

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed by Australia in Auckland on Thursday has been welcomed by the resources sector. Trade Minister Andrew Robb had signed the agreement on behalf of Australia.

Welcoming TPP, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said in a statement that it was a significant trade reform in increasing economic growth, reports The Mining Weekly.

The Trans Pacific Partnership agreement will eliminate 98 percent of tariffs among 12 countries. The members are the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. Together they make up 40 percent of global gross domestic product. In 2015, Australia recorded AU$109-billion worth of exports in goods and services to these TPP countries.

Reflecting on the merits of TPP, the mining trade body’s CEO  highlighted many benefits. “The embrace of paperless trading, streamlined customs procedures and trading rules, assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises, more seamless data flows and greater flexibility with data storage, are all features of the TPP.  The agreement also contains provisions to help stimulate new investment and as experience shows, when you deepen trading relations increased investment inevitably follows.” Brendan Pearson said.

Pearson hailed the agreement’s features such as locking in of the duty-and quota-free access that Australian minerals exporters are currently enjoying in a number of TPP markets. This is very important for Australia’s major mineral exports including coal and iron-ore.

Yet another benefit will be the boost for Australia’s AU$90-billion mining equipment, technologies and services (METS) sector.  According to Pearson, over 50 percent of METS companies export their goods and services. The current exports are more than AU$27-billion. That is about 30 percent of the sector’s total revenues.

Person is optimistic that TPP would facilitate more capital and technology infusion into the minerals industry and lift the foreign investment ceiling from AU$252-million to over AU$1-billion.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama hailed the TPP as a new type of trade deal. “Partnership would give the United States an advantage over other leading economies, namely China,” Obama said in a statement, reports the BBC.

According to Obama, the Trans Pacfic Partnership will allow America not China and others, to set the rules of the road in the 21st Century. This is more important in a dynamic region like the Asia-Pacific, he said.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman also claimed a major boost to the American economy from TPP. He said more than 100 billion dollars per annum would be added to the US economy.

Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb said TPP holds great promise in many traditional areas of trade and investment, besides the fillip in e-commerce and global value chains.

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