Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement: Fact sheets

Agriculture

Summary

AUSFTA provides greater market access for the majority of Australia's agricultural exporters - including for the beef and dairy industries - who have faced restrictive barriers in the US market.

Dairy

Under AUSFTA, Australia’s dairy quotas were increased by nearly three times the previous quota in year one, with ongoing growth in the quotas at an average yearly rate of 5 per cent.

The increase is across the board for all dairy products constrained by quotas, providing new market opportunities for dairy processors and producers.  

The biggest market access gains are for products where the Australian dairy industry is most competitive and sees the largest prospects for growth. The Agreement includes access for dairy products previously excluded from the US market, such as certain cheeses, butter, milk, cream and ice-cream products. Examples include 7.5 million litres of milk, ice-cream and cream, and 2000 tonnes of European type cheeses.

In addition, Australia gained significant increases in quota access for whole-milk powder (used primarily in bakery and confectionary products), from 0 to 4,000 metric tonnes.

Beef

The AUSFTA provides greater access for Australia's leading agricultural export to the United States. In addition to the substantial WTO quota that Australia already holds, our additional beef access will increase to 70,000 tonnes in year 18, and from 2023 will become effectively free trade.

In-quota tariffs were eliminated immediately upon entry into force, and over-quota duties will be phased out from years 9 to 18 of the Agreement.  

Tariff-only products

Tariffs on the majority of agricultural products, including most lamb and sheepmeat, and products such as oranges, cut flowers and cotton seeds, were eliminated from day 1 of the Agreement.   Further elimination of other tariffs is taking place over periods of 4, 10 and 18 years.

The bulk of our lamb and sheep meat exports gained immediate tariff-free access, clearing the way for continued success in a market where Australian producers see great potential over the long term.

The elimination of tariffs means that agricultural sectors such as horticulture can look to the US market as a serious commercial prospect.   Horticulture is a growing export industry and should benefit over-time from new access opportunities in the AUSFTA.

The Agreement does not change current arrangements for Australian access for Australian sugar or sugar related products.