SMEs are being encouraged to take advantage of reduced tariffs and other benefits flowing from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which came into force for Australia on 30 December 2018.
The CPTPP was formerly known as TPP-11, reflecting the 11 nations that signed the agreement: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
It was signed in Chile in March 2018, and has now come into force for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.
The new agreement incorporates most of the provisions of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was signed in 2016 but did not come into force.
CPTPP highlights include:
- reduced or eliminated tariffs on beef, sheepmeat, dairy, sugar, cereals, cotton, wool, seafood, wine and other products in various CPTPP markets
- increased transparency, predictability and legal protection for Australian services exporters in areas such as education and professional services.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website notes that the CPTPP also recognises the challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in establishing export markets, and includes initiatives to help open doors for them in the CPTPP region.
These include reduced tariffs, common trade and investment rules across all CPTPP countries, and rules encouraging SME participation in government procurement opportunities.
The remaining 5 CPTPP signatories will now go through the process of ratifying the treaty domestically so that it can come into force for their countries.