FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Abbott Government’s conclusion of negotiations for an historic free trade agreement with China – our largest trading partner –will deliver significant benefits for both Australia and the New England Electorate.
In a little over 12 months in office the Abbott Government has now concluded three landmark free trade agreements with the major economies of North Asia, including South Korea, Japan and China, Mr Joyce said.
“These agreements will add billions of dollars to the Australian economy and create tens-of-thousands of jobs in the years ahead. They will also further bolster the high standards of living Australians enjoy today,” he said.
“The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will give Australian exporters unprecedented levels of market access to the world's second largest economy, with a population of 1.36 billion and a rapidly growing middle class.”
Mr Joyce said that more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports (by value) will be tariff free upon commencement of the agreement rising to 93 per cent within four years.
“ChAFTA will deliver significant wins for Australia across key areas such as agriculture, resources and energy, manufacturing exports, services and investment,” he said.
“Households and businesses will also reap the benefits of cheaper goods and components imported from China such as vehicles, household goods, electronics and clothing, placing downward pressure on the cost of living and the cost of doing business.
"This is an outstanding agreement, which will translate into greater economic growth, more jobs and higher living standards for the households and businesses of the New England Electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
"The New England Electorate will particularly benefit from the elimination of tariffs on exports of beef, sheepmeat, poultry products, dairy products, wine, varieties of fruit or vegetables, as well as resources like coal.
The Abbott Government has also secured an unprecedented deal for a broad range of Australian services: the best ever market access afforded by China to any foreign country. This will provide enormous scope to build on a services export market already worth $7 billion.
"Australia is a services economy and ChAFTA will provide a range of new opportunities for our service providers, everything from legal services, financial services, education, tourism and travel, through to health and aged care services, architecture, urban planning, transport and several more," Mr Joyce said.
"The Abbott Government, as promised, has now delivered a powerful trifecta of trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China, economies which now account for more than 61 per cent of Australian goods exports. Without these agreements our future competitiveness would not be assured," he said.