​Media Release

Building stronger agricultural ties with the Americas​

17 July 2018

  • Minister Littleproud is visiting the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina
  • The visit will develop links and further agricultural collaboration in trade, food security, biosecurity, agriculture innovation and R&D
  • Minister Littleproud will represent Australia at the meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers, and will be the first Australian Agriculture Minister to visit the US since 2009​

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud will be the first Australian Agriculture Minister to visit the United States since 2009, touching down this week.

Minister Littleproud is visiting the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina to develop new links within the G20 as we push for market access for our world-class Aussie produce.

​Many Australians don't realise a free trade agreement does not win us market access for our produce. It often takes years of negotiations between scientists and diplomats to agree on export protocols which protect the biosecurity of both nations before market access is granted.

"I want to reinforce our longstanding and fruitful agricultural relationship with the United States while building closer relationships with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina," Mr Littleproud said.

"The value of two-way agriculture trade between Australia and the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina was worth a combined $7.6 billion in 2017.

"Mexico and Brazil are significant emerging agricultural markets and growing those relationships is vital.

"Australia and Mexico recently signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, our first joint FTA. We are also in negotiations for the Australia-Pacific Alliance FTA, which includes Mexico.

"I have a duty to our farmers to make the most out of these agreements.

"In the Budget I announced additional agricultural counsellors to help get our Aussie produce on the shelves in key emerging markets. Additional counsellors will be placed in regions where we are negotiating or have recently concluded free trade agreements, including Latin America.

"The G20 meeting in Argentina will be an opportunity to strengthen our trade relationship with G20 countries, whose markets were worth a combined $37.6 billion for Australia's agriculture exports in 2017.

"I will be co-chairing the inaugural Australia-Argentina High Level Agriculture Dialogue with my Argentinian counterpart in Buenos Aires. Argentina is home to 43 million people and is one of the most developed markets in Latin America, so there is huge untapped potential there for our Aussie farmers.

"Our government's free trade agenda has done a great job in opening up new markets for Aussie agricultural produce. "

 Fast Facts:

  • The US is Australia's third largest export destination for agricultural products, with exports valued at $4.11 billion in 2017.
  • Beef and veal exports alone to the US in 2017 were worth $1.67 billion.
  • Since 2005, the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) has delivered substantial market access gains for Australian and US agricultural producers.
  • Mexico is Australia's largest market for our agricultural exports in Latin America.
  • Brazil-Australia two-way agricultural trade was valued at $310.7 million in 2017 and Argentina two-way trade was valued at $511.4 million.
  • G20 nations make up 60 per cent of agricultural land worldwide and are responsible for nearly 80 per cent of global trade in food and agricultural products.
  • Australia exported around 67 per cent (or $37.6 billion of total $55.9 billion) of its agriculture, fisheries and forestry exports to G20 members in 2017.