Australia’s freshly ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, scheduled to come into force at the end of this year, will benefit multiple automakers in the now import-only market, according to a local media report.
GoAutoNews said Ford, General Motors’ Holden, Audi and Volkswagen would be among those to benefit.
Ford’s Canadian-made Endura [Edge] large SUV – due to be launched in Australia in December – would now escape a 5% import tariff as would GM’s Mexican-built Holden Equinox, the Audi Q5 and Volkswagen’s Tiguan Allspace.
GoAutoNews said Australia last week was the sixth country to ratify the agreement, joining Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore in the first group to sign up for the wide ranging pact that the Australian federal government had predicted would generate annual benefits of up to A$15.6bn by 2030.
Ultimately, 11 countries are expected to join the agreement, excluding the US after president Donald Trump pulled his country from the negotiations.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has welcomed TPP as chief executive Tony Weber described TPP-11 as the latest piece in the trade agreement jigsaw.
He told GoAutoNews the agreement would lower prices for the latest automotive technologies for Australian consumers.
“The agreement also enhances opportunities for Australian technology to supply chains across the growing Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
The reported noted that, because Australia already has separate free trade agreements with several of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea and Thailand, the main TPP benefit for automotive importers will apply to those bringing in cars from Canada and Mexico.
So far this year, 9128 Mexican-built vehicles have been sold in Australia, a rise of 210% over the first 10 months of last year, according to official
VFACTS sales data.
GoAutoNews noted the new agreement leaves Europe, the UK and Argentina as the last major motor vehicle sources to be burdened with import duty on vehicles shipped to Australia.
Weber called for all automotive import tariffs to be dumped, along with the luxury car tax.
“The five per cent tariff and the luxury car tax is simply a tax on technologies that can deliver better safety and environmental outcomes for Australian
consumers,” he said.