THE Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which came into force on Nov 29 last year, will not have a negative impact on the agriculture sector, said International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister (DPM) Liew Chin Tong.
The CPTPP will protect the interests of local farmers as it is one of the few free trade agreements which recognises the issue of food security.
“It is clear that the CPTPP will not have a negative impact on the agriculture sector,” Liew told Parliament.
It will also not jeopardise subsidies meant for agriculture exports, he added.
“The claim that the CPTPP will not allow the government to implement bans on basic food exports such as chicken is not true,” the DPM said, adding that it will also not result in the sudden eradication of import duties on agricultural products.
He noted that Malaysia depends on food imports, where 50% of foods are imported – such as mutton and beef.
“For 2020, the average of import duties for agricultural products was about 13.8% and it further declined to 7.9% in 2021,” he added.
At the same time, Malaysia has been given a longer staging period of 16 years for the purpose of reducing and eradicating import duties, including on agricultural products, he said.
According to Liew, Malaysia does not need to eradicate fully its import duties for chicken and eggs under the CPTPP, and we can still maintain the tariff rate quota system. — March 1, 2023
Main photo credit: AFP