The Morrison Government is seeking the views of Australian producers, businesses and consumers on a possible future Geographical Indications framework, as negotiations progress with the European Union (EU) to secure an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement.
Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan said the second round of public consultations, which starts today, will give local businesses and farmers a three-month opportunity to provide input on how a future Geographical Indications (GIs) framework could work.
“These consultations do not give any commitment on GIs but will ensure that any future framework, should one be required, is informed by Australian farmers and businesses,” Senator Molan said.
“The consultation process provides an opportunity for industry of New South Wales to make submissions and participate in a series of roundtables that cover four themes of targeted discussion.
“We have made it clear to the EU we will make no commitment on GIs until later in the negotiations and only if the overall deal is in our interests, including by delivering commercially significant new market access for our agricultural products.
“Whilst we understand the importance the EU places on geographical indications, our priority is ensuring New South Wales farmers and businesses can get better market access and be more competitive in the EU,”
Federal Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said while securing a free trade agreement with the EU presents significant new market access for Australian exporters, we will only do this deal if it is in Australia’s overall best interests.
“Australians can be assured we’ll drive a hard bargain to not only reduce tariffs and increase or eliminate quotas, but to grow our services sector and improve investment flows with the EU,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Seeking better and new opportunities in a large, stable market such as the EU is more important than ever as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and will give our farmers and businesses more export options around the world.”
To date Australia and the EU have undergone seven rounds of negotiations with the next to be held in mid-September. Business and industry are invited to engage with the consultation process by the 30 November 2020.
Registration for roundtables and further information can be found by visiting: https://consultation.ipaustralia.gov.au/policy/geographical-indications.