The peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products, the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), has welcomed news that negotiations to finalise the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement have been concluded.
"Australian manufacturers of dental products rely on access to export markets in order to be sustainable. The TPP free trade agreement secures new market opportunities for Australian dental product manufacturers and supports local job creation," said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.
There are twelve nations that are party to the free trade agreement including: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam. In 2014 around one-third of Australian exports went to TPP countries.
"An important outcome of the TPP free trade agreement is that it works towards the elimination of technical barriers to trade. The dental industry therefore welcomes this landmark agreement that assists Australian manufacturers by removing unnecessary and duplicative technical regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures that create unnecessary obstacles in the global market for dental products," Mr Williams said.
As more than ninety-five per cent of all dental products used in Australia are imported, the TPP free trade agreement will also assist local suppliers gain timely access to the latest and innovative technologies.
"For far too long the dental industry has been frustrated by the regulatory roadblocks that have hindered access to new products from overseas. Many of these additional regulatory requirements are unique to Australia yet do nothing to enhance patient safety, so we are looking forward to the TPP agreement being used as a tool to enhance Australian access to new products," Mr Williams concluded.
ADIA's support for the TPP free trade agreement was confirmed in its policy statement on international free trade agreements. It is part of ADIA's advocacy efforts directed towards achieving a regulatory framework for dental products that is based on a risk management approach designed to ensure public health and safety, while at the same time freeing industry from any unnecessary regulatory burden.