By Andy Young

Australia's wine sector has welcomed comments by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, that there could be a 'Plan B' for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), should US President Donald Trump make good on his threats to pull out of the deal.

President Trump has said that he plans to withdraw from the TPP, but Minister Ciobo told News Limited that all options for the TPP were under consideration, should the US fail to ratify the 12-country agreement.

“We still need to give the Trump administration an opportunity to settle in. We are only 11 months into a 24-month ratification process,” Ciobo told The Australian. “Should President Trump block US ratification of the TPP following his inauguration, considerable discussion and work by the remaining TPP members would need to take place before any possible Plan B was decided on.”

The Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) welcomed the Minister's comments, saying that the TPP provides great opportunities for the Australian wine sector and that "we must do everything in our power" to make sure the agreement comes into force.

Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of the WFA, commended the efforts of the government in pursuing its program of trade liberalisation.  

"The TPP offers tremendous opportunities for our sector and the promise of wealth creation in regional Australia as well as to the national economy," Battaglene said.

He added: "This is the first agreement to specifically address significant non-tariff trade barriers restricting our export growth as well as promoting significant opportunities within the region. It also provides a template for future agreements."

The WFA called on all parties to get behind the TPP, saying: "We need strong export growth and trade liberalisation through Free Trade Agreements is key to our success."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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