Australia-UK Trade Deal Comes With a Compromise
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The UK has negotiated with Australia one of the most comprehensive and ambitious trade agreements post Brexit. However, the deal comes with a compromise and impacts both the UK and Australia differently.
The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison agreed to a landmark trade agreement with Great Britain. Scott Morrison arrived at Downing Street for a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that lasted two and half hours. An announcement was made that they had agreed to the broad terms of the deal while the legal documents still need to be signed.
It is a significant moment as it is Britain’s first major trade deal that is being signed since it left the EU. For the UK the deal has a lot of political value attached to it as well. What it means to Australia can be gauged from the fact that it could benefit the Australian economy to churn around $1.3 billion/-year. This could mean a $1.3 billion boost to the Australian economy.
The trade deal will make the selling of British cars and Scotch whisky to Australia easier. However, it will also give Australian beef and lamb farmers better access to the UK market. This is primarily what has got the UK farmers worried since the big winners in this entire scenario are the Australian producers and farmers.
The key thing with such deals is to look at the big picture. Historically when it comes to trade with Australia, going all the way back to the 19th century UK and Australia shared good trade relations. In fact, the trade between the two nations was quite high and there was the peak back during World War II. Even in the 1950s one in eight of all UK exports and Indian imports were going to or coming from Australia. However, over time they have come down quite a lot but it wasn’t just joining the EU. They’ve come down to a very low level recently so the question still is whether it moves those lines upwards.
The big thing in this deal when it comes to goods in agriculture trade, tariff-free and quota-free access for agriculture. That could be a very big thing because of the amount of trade that happens in beef and lamb coming from Australia. As of now, there are quotas so it limits how much can be imported before those tariffs start to kick in.
The minute this trade deal is signed the quotas will go up really sharply and will go up more than ten years down. So that could be a really big deal for UK farmers and indeed Australian farmers.
Under the deal, Australians under 35 will be able to live and work in the UK more easily. Similarly, Britishers under 35 are going to be able to travel to and work in Australia for 3 years. The deal definitely means better opportunities for the Australians and Britishers to work and travel in the UK and Australia, respectively.
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