Senator Richard Colbeck, Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, said the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is one step closer after enabling legislation passed through the House of Representatives today.
“To gain the maximum benefits of ChAFTA we must ensure it comes into force this year, which will allow an immediate round of tariff cuts followed by a second round of cuts early next year,” Senator Colbeck said.
“It is excellent news that the enabling legislation has passed the House of Representatives today and Labor has finally recognised what we’ve been saying all along - this agreement will open up opportunities worth billions of dollars with our biggest trading partner.
“ChAFTA contains a series of excellent outcomes for the Tasmanian economy and will have flow-on effects for jobs and economic growth.
“It will deliver for Tasmania’s renowned premium seafood, beef, wine, dairy, horticultural and honey exports.
“Tasmanian dairy exports to China are already valued at $7.7 million (2014-15) and the phased removal of tariffs up to 20 per cent will allow businesses to grow and expand into the Chinese market.
“Resources exports like unwrought zinc and unwrought aluminum will also benefit from elimination of current tariffs
“Education providers will also benefit from commitments and accompanying MOUs that will support collaboration and exchange between teachers, students and researchers.
“The Australian Government’s number one priority is to do everything we reasonably can to ensure ChAFTA is brought into force before the end of this year.
“We want to enable the benefits to flow quickly to our exporters, consumers, and importers.”